The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced yesterday that inflation rate eased to 15.91 per cent in October from 15.98 per cent in September.
Specifically, the difference is 0.07 per cent, making it the ninth consecutive slowdown in inflation rate, though still positive, in headline year-on-year inflation since January 2017.
The Bureau said, while average headline year-on-year inflation for the first five months of the year (January to May 2017) stood at 17.45 per cent, average headline year-on-year inflation for the next five months of the year (June to October 2017) stood at 16.01 per cent, indicating disinflation from June to date, compared to the period from January to May 2017.
According to NBS, it is an indication that, while prices have remained high in 2017, they have tended to slow down their pace of increase since May 2017, both on year-on-year and month-on-month bases.
The bureau stated: "The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in October 2017 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period, which has also trended downwards since May 2017 was 16.97 per cent, showing 0.2 per cent point lower from 17.17 per cent recorded in September 2017.
"The Urban index rose by 16.19 per cent (year-on-year) in October 2017, up by 0.01 per cent from 16.18 per cent recorded in September and the Rural index increased by 15.67 per cent in October 2017 down from 15.81 per cent in September 2017".
The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had said he expected inflation rates to fall at a faster pace and reach high single-digit rates by the middle of 2018.
The apex bank kept interest rates at 14 per cent in September to keep liquidity tight, stressing that it felt loosening would worsen inflation.
However, the Bureau in its report released yesterday said, "High food price and food price pressure continued into September though generally at a slower pace. The Food Index increased by 20.31 per cent (year-on-year) in October, down marginally by 0.01 per cent points from the rate recorded in September (20.32 percent).
"While average year-on-year food inflation for the first five months of the year (January to May 2017) stood at 18.67 per cent, average year-on- year food inflation for the next five months of the year (June to October 2017), was higher at 20.22 per cent, indicating higher food price inflation on average in the second five months of the year compared to the first five months.
"On a month-on-month basis, the Food sub-index increased by 0.85 per cent in October, down from 0.87 per cent recorded in August. This represents the fifth consecutive disinflation in month-on-month inflation since a 2017 high of 2.57 per cent in May 2017. October 2017 also represents the lowest recorded month on month inflation since September 2016.
"While average month-on-month food inflation for the first five months of the year (January to May 2017) stood at 2.01 per cent, average month-on-month food inflation for the next five months of the year (June to October 2017), stood at 1.27 per cent indicating a general slow-down in the rise in food prices from June to date compared to from January to May 2017, though the rate of price increases has remained generally higher on a year on year basis.
"The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending in October 2017 over the previous twelve month average was 19.14 per cent, 0.26 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in September (18.88) per cent".
NBS further noted that the rise in the food index in October 2017 was as a result of increases in prices of bread and cereals, meats, oils and fats, coffee tea and cocoa, milk cheese, eggs, vegetables and fish.