UPDATE 1-Ghana producer price inflation eases to 4.8 pct in April

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ACCRA, May 24 (Reuters) - Ghana's producer price inflation fell to 4.8 percent year-on-year in April from 6 percent the month before, as a stronger local currency cut import prices, the statistics office said on Wednesday.

Producer inflation has come down from more than 48 percent in 2014, a sign of progress in stabilizing the economy under an International Monetary Fund programme that looks set to be extended beyond its April 2018 end date.

Mining and quarrying inflation eased to 18.2 percent in April from 20.8 percent in March, while the manufacturing subsector fell to 2.9 percent from 4.1 percent in March. Utilities' inflation was 1.2 percent, compared with 1.5 percent the month before.

"The basic factor is the appreciation of the cedi that has impacted the prices of inputs for production across industry," acting government statistician Baah Wadieh told a news conference. Month-on-month, producer prices fell 1.3 percent in April.

Ghana was for years one of Africa's fastest growing economies but growth slumped in 2014 due to a fall in global commodities prices and fiscal problems including elevated inflation, a high budget deficit and public debt.

On Monday, the central bank slashed its benchmark interest rate by 100 basis points to 22.5 percent, citing a downward trend in inflation towards medium-term targets of 8 percent plus or minus 2 percentage points. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Susan Fenton)