Premium Times (Abuja)

15 May 2014

Nigeria's Inflation Rate Up 7.9 Per Cent in April

Nigeria's Composite Price Index, CPI, which measures the average change in price level or inflation rate for a determined period rose by 7.9 per cent on year-on-year basis in April, up marginally from the 7.8 per cent recorded in March.

Details of the CPI published on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS in Abuja showed the marginal rise in the price level on year-on-year rates during the month.

The marginal rise was attributable to higher food prices, which maintained a relatively stable year-on-year performance, moving in a 0.2 percentage point band between 9.2 per cent and 9.4 per cent over the last eight months, apart from divisions which contributed to the Core sub-index.

The NBS report indicated that in the month under review, food prices rose slightly by 9.4 per cent year-on-year, as a result of higher prices for bread and cereals, meat, fish, dairy, oils and fats, and fruits classes.

The Bureau said that prices in the food sub-index were, however, weighed down by relatively slower increases in the vegetables, potatoes, yams and other tubers as well as sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery classes.

The agency said the relatively slower growth in the afore-mentioned classes was observed over the last there months, after moving at a slower pace in March, with prices measured by the Core sub-index increasing at a faster rate in April.

"Prices rose by 7.5 per cent year-on-year, 0.7 percentage points higher than the year-on-year rate recorded in March (6.8 per cent)," the report said. "This was as a result of higher increases in classes belonging to the housing water, electricity, gas and other fuel; alcoholic beverages, tobacco and kola."

On a monthly basis, the report said prices weakened in April after an uptick in March, with prices increasing by 0.62 per cent in April, lower than rates recorded in March by roughly 0.2 percentage points.

Food prices also moved in the same pattern, easing in April, while monthly core prices firmed at 0.4 per cent over the previous two months, the NBS stated.

The NBS stated further that urban prices also increased at the same rate in April, relative to March, increasing by 7.9 per cent year-on-year, while the pace of increase in rural prices continued to weaken as prices increased at a slower rate for the fourth consecutive month.

Specifically, in April, prices rose by 7.5 per cent year-on-year, marginally lower than price increase recorded in March by 0.1 percentage points.

On Food Index, the Bureau reported that food prices appreciated for the second consecutive month in April, increasing by 9.4 per cent, marginally higher by 0.1 percentage points from rates recorded in the preceding month.

This is the highest year-on-year rate recorded since September, 2013.

A breakdown of the increase on a month-on-month basis indicated that food prices eased in April, increasing by 0.8 per cent, lower from rates recorded in March with highest price increases recorded in the bread and cereals; meat, fish, and dairy classes.

The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending in April 2014 was 9.4 per cent, marginally lower from the average annual rate of change of the 12-month period ending in March 2014 by 0.1 percentage points.

Reflecting on the "All Items Less Farm Produce", or Core Index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural products, the Bureau reported that after a slight decline in March (year-on- year), the Index increased at faster rate in April.

Prices increased by 7.5 per cent, an increase of 0.7 percentage points from 6.8 per cent recorded in the preceding month.

Noting that the April trend represented highest year-on-year increase observed in the core sub-index this year, the Bureau disclosed that on a month-on-month basis, prices firmed in the month under review, growing at the same rate of 0.4 per cent observed in March.

It said the increase in the Core sub-index was as a result of price increases across various class items, in particular spirits, wine, tobacco, clothing materials, and garments, with the average 12-month annual rate of rise of the index recorded at 7.0 per cent for the 12-month period ending in April 2014.

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