Nigeria: Despite Drop in Inflation Food Prices Stay High - NBS

Despite the decline in Consumer Price Index (CPI) the 16th consecutive time since January 2017, composite food price index maintained a significant increase for the month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in its latest report for May 2018.

The CPI, which measures inflation rate in the economy within a period, showed inflation rate dropping further by about 0.87 per cent basis points from 12.48 per cent in April to about 11.61 per cent during the month.

On a month-on-month basis, the headline index showed an increase by 1.09 per cent during the month, about 0.26 per cent points rise from the rate recorded in April 2018.

The report published in the Bureau's website on Wednesday said the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending May 2018 over the average of the CPI for the corresponding period stood at about 14.79 per cent.

This about 0.41 per cent point lower than the 15.20 per cent recorded in April 2018.

But, the composite indices of the 12 classification of individual consumption by purpose (COICOP) functions and all items levels remained high in all divisions that constituted the headline index.

The 12 COICOP indices include food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages, tobacco and kola; clothing and footwear; housing, water, electricity, gas; furnishings, household equipment and health.

Others are transport, communication, recreation and culture, education, restaurants and hotels; miscellaneous goods and services.

The composite food index, which measures the capacity of people to feed, rose by 13.45 per cent in during the month.

The rise in the index was attributed to increases in prices of some staple food items like potatoes, yam and other tubers, vegetables, fish, bread and cereals, fruits and meat.

On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.33 per cent in May 2018, up by 0.42 per cent points from 0.91 per cent recorded in April.

The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending May 2018 over the previous 12-month average was 18.36 per cent, 0.53 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in April by 18.89 per cent.

On State-by-State basis, the report said food inflation on an annual basis was highest in Yobe (15.86 per cent), followed by Kebbi (15.62 per cent) and Jigawa (15.56 per cent). Kogi, Benue and Akwa Ibom were the three States that recorded the slowest rise in food inflation at 8.54, 9.93 and 11.13 per cent respectively.

On month-on-month basis however, the report said Taraba, Adamawa and Enugu were States with the highest food inflation during the month with 2.80, 2.38 and 2.36 per cent respective, while Kogi, Oyo and Ekiti all recorded negative food price inflation during the month.

Besides, the "All items less farm produce" or Core inflation, excluding prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood at 10.7 per cent in May 2018, down marginally by 0.2 per cent from the 10.9 per cent rate recorded in April.

On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.98 per cent in May 2018, up by 0.11 per cent when compared with 0.87 per cent recorded in April.

The highest increases were recorded in prices of hairdressing saloons and personal grooming establishment, vehicle spare parts, fuels and lubricants for transport equipment, books and stationaries, domestic services and household services, pharmaceutical products, paramedical services, medical services and passenger transport by road.

The NBS said average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 11.83 per cent for the 12-month period ending May 2018; this is 0.19 percent points lower than 12.02 percent recorded in April.

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