Inflation Drops Further to 13.34%

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By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

For the 14th consecutive month since January 2017, inflation rate has continued a downward trajectory, declining from 14.33 per cent in February 2018 to 13.34 per cent in March.

This represents a 0.99 per cent points drop over the rate recorded in February.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, stood at 13.34 per cent (year-on-year) in March 2018. 
The statistical agency stated that the Composite Food Index rose by 16.08 per cent (year-on-year) in March 2018, down from the rate recorded in February (17.59 per cent).
The ”All Items less Farm Produce” or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, rose by 11.2 per cent in March 2018, down by 0.5 percentage points from the rate recorded in February (11.7 per cent).

On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.84 per cent in March 2018, higher by 0.09 per cent when compared with 0.75 per cent recorded in February.
The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 12.33 per cent for the 12-month period ending March 2018.
Thus translates to a 0.34 percentage points decrease from the 12.67 per cent recorded in February.

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 0.84 per cent in March 2018, up by 0.05 per cent points from the rate recorded in February.
The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending March 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was 15.60 per cent, showing a 0.33 percentage point drop from 15.93 per cent recorded in February 2018.

The highest increases were recorded in prices of clothing materials, garments and other articles of clothing and clothing accessories, vehicle spare parts, fuel and lubricants for personal transport equipment, actual and imputed rentals for housing, passenger transport by road, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, shoe and other footwear, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment and paramedical services.
The urban inflation rate eased by 13.75 per cent (year-on-year) in March 2018 from 14.76 per cent recorded in February, while the rural inflation rate also eased by 12.99 per cent in March 2018 from 13.96 per cent in February.
On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.86 percl cent in March 2018, up by 0.04 from 0.82 per cent recorded in February, while the rural index also rose by 0.82 per cent in March 2018, up by 0.05 from 0.77 percl cent recorded in February.
The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 15.87 per cent in March 2018.

This is less than 16.24 per cent reported in February, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in March 2018 was 15.34 per cent compared to 15.64 per cent recorded in February.
The Composite Food Index rose by 16.08 per cent (year-on-year) in March 2018, down from the rate recorded in February (17.59 per cent).
On a month-on-month basis, the Food sub-index increased by 0.90 per cent in March 2018, up by 0.05 percentage points from 0.85 per cent recorded in February.
The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the 12-month period ending March 2018 over the previous 12-month average was 19.29 per cent, 0.23 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in February (19.52 per cent).
The rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, fish, oil and fats, vegetables, fruits, coffee, tea and cocoa, meat, milk, cheese and eggs, the NBS said.

In March 2018, all items inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Bauchi (16.38 per cent), Kebbi (16.36 per cent) and Nasarawa (16.33 per cent), while Kwara (10.30 per cent), Kogi (10.87 per cent) and Delta (11.17 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline year-on-year inflation.
On a month-on-month basis, however, all items inflation was highest in Nasarawa (2.20 per cent), Ebonyi (2.10 per cent) and Bauchi (1.87 per cent), while Yobe (0.07 per cent) recorded slowest rise and Kebbi and Kwara recorded price deflation on a month-on-month all item basis in March 2018.

In March 2018, food inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Nasarawa (20.83 per cent), Bayelsa (19.03 per cent) and Yobe (18.93 per cent), while Kogi (11.99 per cent), Bauchi (12.60 per cent) and Benue (13.07 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in food inflation.
On a month-on-month basis, however, March 2018 food inflation was highest in Nasarawa (3.22 per cent), Ebonyi (2.97 per cent) and Jigawa (2.37 per cent).
Kebbi, Imo, Niger, Kwara, Lagos, Rivers and Yobe 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 March 2018.