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Driest Christmas Ever – Traders Lament Low Patronage



The year 2022 has been a challenging economic and financial year for Ghanaians. Inflation currently stands at over 50% as of November 2022.


The Ghana cedi took on a sloppy trajectory to depreciate by over 63% in the greater part of the year until about two weeks ago when it started gaining against the dollar.

Even though there is a cliché where traders complain of not making enough sales as every year goes by, the situation this year is quite different.

In a quick survey at some major shopping centers and markets showed that the increase in the prices of goods and services throughout the year has led to a reduction in the shopping enthusiasm that is usually connected to the festive season.

At the Makola market, it was evident that people were in town, but whether that reflected in the sales of vendors was a question we sought answers to.

According to the traders, patronage was low. They added that even though there were numbers in the market, the prices usually discouraged them from buying as much as they would have.

Speaking to a fresh fish vendor, she said “People are not buying because this year has been hard. In January, schools will resume and parents do not want to spend much on Christmas so much. The price of fuel has also been so high that the price of red-fish, tilapia, etc keeps increasing.”

“Last year, we bought it for 800 but now it is 1700, 1800 and 2000. So, I sell 3 tilapia’s for 50 and 4 big ones for 100 cedis. People are not buying this Christmas at all. They are in town but they are not buying,” she added.

“One gallon of oil was 700 and 800 cedis but now it is 500cedis, 550cedis because of the CFA and the dollar. One Olonka of gari used to be 12 cedis but it is 18cedis and 20cedis now. Last year 1 litre oil was 50cedis but 90cedis so sales are low,” an oil seller stated

Meanwhile, the Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, makes a comparison between Christmas this year and those in previous years.

“Is this the driest Ghanaian Christmas on record? I’m shocked by the absence of queues in major supermarkets all this week. Or is it that shopping habits have changed? E-commerce? A return to informal markets?” he asked on his Twitter page on Christmas Eve.

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