Nigeria's Composite Price Index, CPI, measuring the average change in the prices of goods and services, otherwise called inflation rate, decreased further as expected in September, shedding 0.2 percent from the previous month to reach 8 percent year-on-year basis.
Financial Derivatives Company, FDC, a Lagos-based diversified financial institution, had predicted the rate to drop to about 7.83 percent for the month of September, extrapolating the economic indicators of August.
But Inflation Report for the month released on Wednesday by the Statistician General of the Federation, Yemi Kale, in Abuja, showed that the decline in the headline Index, when compared with the level of the preceding month, was largely attributable to a slower rate of increase in food prices, as the recent harvest season continued to constrain rising food prices.
The Report showed further that after trending lower in the first half of the year (from 11.3 percent in January to 5.5 percent in June), the core sub-index again trended upwards for the third consecutive month, while the rate of increase was tempered by moderations in the "housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" division as well as the "furnishings, household equipment and household maintenance" division.
In the month under review, the NBS report revealed that the headline index increased by 0.75 per cent on month-on-month basis, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from 0.25 per cent recorded in August, indicating the first uptick in the CPI on a monthly basis in four months.
A further analysis of the CPI trend revealed that the urban composite CPI was recorded at 147.9 points in September, indicating an 8 percent increase from levels recorded in September 2012, though 0.4 percentage points lower than the 8.4 per cent recorded in August this year.
The NBS stated that the percentage change in the average CPI for the 12-month period ending September 2013 over the average of CPI for the previous 12-month period was recorded at 9.5 per cent, lower than the average 12-month rate of change of 9.8 percent recorded in August.
It also reported that the corresponding 12-month year-on-year basis average percentage change for the urban index was 10.4 per cent, while the corresponding rural index was recorded at 8.8 percent.
A further analysis of the country's food index, showed that in the month under review, the rate of increase in food prices moderated for the second consecutive month, as produce from the on-going harvest continued to put downward pressure on the food sub-index with the 9.4 per cent rate recorded in September, representing 0.3 percentage points lower than 9.7 per cent recorded in August.
On a month-on-month basis, however, the food sub-index was reported to have increased by 0.9 percent in September, up from 0.5 per cent recorded in August by 0.4 percentage points, with the highest price increases recorded in the oils and fats, and bread and cereals classes, amongst others.
The report also showed that the average annual rate of rise of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending in September 2013 was 10.1 per cent when compared with the same period in 2012. This was marginally lower than the 12-month average year-on-year change for the period ending in August (10.2 percent).
"All items less farm produce" or core index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural products, increased for the second consecutive month in August to 7.2 percent, up by 0.6 percentage points from the 6.6 per cent recorded in July," the statistics agency stated.
A further decomposition of the core sub index of the "all items, less farm produce" or core index on a month-on-month basis, showed that it increased for the third consecutive month in September to 7.4 per cent, up by 0.2 percentage points from 7.2 per cent recorded in August, compared to the month-on-month basis, which showed that the core sub index was recorded at 0.6 per cent, lower than 1.3 percent recorded in August by 0.7 percentage points.
The Bureau pointed out that the increase in the core sub-index was as a result of price increases across various class items particularly actual and imputed rental prices,books and stationeries as a result of the start of the new school year, and accommodation services, amongst others.
The average 12-month annual rate of rise of the index was recorded at 8.9 per cent in September 2013, down 0.5 percentage points from 9.4 per cent recorded in August 2013.