Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
For the twelfth consecutive month, inflation rate has continued a downward trajectory, recording a slowdown from 15.37 per cent in December 2017 to 15.13 per cent in January 2018, a 0.24 percentage points decrease.
According to latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, started 2018, increasing by 15.13 per cent (year-on-year) in January.
The statistics agency stated: â€œThis was 0.24 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in December (15.37 per cent) making it the twelfth consecutive disinflation (slowdown in the inflation rate though still positive) in headline year on year inflation since January 2017.
Based on the new NBSâ€™ figures, increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield the headline index.
On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.80 per cent in January 2018, showing 0.21 percentage points increase over the rate of 0.59 per cent recorded in December 2017.
The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending January 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 16.22 per cent, showing 0.28 percentage points decline over 16.50 per cent recorded in December 2017.
The urban inflation rate rose by 15.56 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2018 from 16.78 per cent recorded in December 2017, while the rural inflation rate also eased by 14.76 per cent in January 2018 from 15.02 per cent in December 2017.
On month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.83 per cent in January 2018, up by 0.17 from 0.66 per cent recorded in December 2017, while the rural index also rose by 0.77 per cent in January 2018, up by 0.23 when compared with 0.54 per cent in December 2017.
The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 16.55 per cent in January 2018.
This is less than 16.92 per cent reported in December 2017, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in January 2018 is 15.89 per cent compared to 16.10 per cent recorded in December 2017.
High year-on-year food prices and food price pressure continued into December though generally at a slower pace year-on-year.
The food index increased by 18.92 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2017, down from the rate recorded in December (19.42 per cent).
On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.87 per cent in January 2018, down by 0.29 per cent from 0.58 per cent recorded in December.
The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending January 2018 over the previous twelve-month average was 19.62 per cent, 0.07 percentage points from the average annual rate of change recorded in December 2017 (19.55) per cent.
The rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of imported food in general as well as bread and cereals, milk, cheese and eggs, vegetables, fish, coffee tea and cocoa, meat, potatoes, yam and other tubers and oil and fats.
The â€˜â€™All Items Less Farm Produceâ€™â€™ or Core sub-index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood during the month of January 2018 at 12.10 per cent, similar to rate recorded in December 2017.
On a month-on-month basis, the Core sub-index increased by 0.68 per cent in January 2018, higher from 0.51 per cent recorded in December.
The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 13.01 per cent for the twelve-month period ending January 2018, this is 0.45 percentage points lower than 13.46 per cent recorded in December 2017.
The highest increases were recorded in prices of fuel and lubricants for personal transport and transport equipment, vehicle spare parts, accommodation services, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, appliances articles and products for personal care, hotels and restaurants, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, clothing materials and other articles of clothing, garments, non-durable household goods and solid fuels.
In January 2018, all items inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kebbi (18.55 per cent), Nasarawa (18.49 per cent) and Bauchi (18.01 per cent), while Delta (12.77 per cent), Kogi State (13.28 per cent) and Anambra (13.34 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline year-on- year inflation.
On a month-on-month basis however, January 2018 all items inflation was highest in Kogi (2.72%), Bayelsa (2.39%) and Sokoto (1.68%), while Kebbi, Bauchi and Cross River recorded price deflation on a month on month all item basis in January 2018.
In January 2018, food inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kwara (24.46%), Nasarawa (22.77%) and Bayelsa (22.60%), while Bauchi (13.34%), Anambra (14.63%) and Benue (14.78%) recorded the slowest rise in food inflation.
On a month-on-month basis, however, January 2018 food inflation was highest in Bayelsa (3.47%), Kogi (3.38%) and Nasarawa (2.26%), while Cross River, Kebbi.
Yobe, Anambra and Delta all recorded food price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of goods and services or a negative inflation rate) in January 2018.