By James Emejo in Abuja
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, further decreased to 11.31 per cent (year-on-year) in February compared to 11.37 per cent in January, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 9.8 per cent in February, down by 0.1 per cent when compared with 9.9 per cent recorded in January.
The urban inflation rate stood at 11.59 per cent (year-on-year) in February from 11.66 per cent recorded in January while the rural inflation rate increased stood at 11.05 per cent in February from 11.11 per cent in the previous month.
On month-on-month, the Headline index increased by 0.73 per cent in February, representing 0.01 per cent rate lower than the 0.74 per cent rate in January.
According to the NBS in its CPI report for February, the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending February 2019 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was 11.56 per cent, which indicated 0.24 per cent point from 11.80 per cent recorded in January.
It noted that the highest increases in headline index were recorded in prices of tobacco, repair and hire of footwear, major household appliances, domestic services and household services, dental services, medical and hospital services, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
The NBS added that the average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 10.19 per cent for the 12-month period ending February 2019 which was 0.15 per cent points lower than 10.34 per cent recorded in January.
The composite food index rose by 13.47 per cent in February compared to 13.51 per cent in the preceding month.
According to the statistical agency: “This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of fish, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, vegetables, oils and fats and fruits.
“On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.82 per cent in February 2019, down by 0.01 per cent points from 0.83 per cent recorded in January 2019.
“The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending February 2019 over the previous twelve-month average was 13.62 per cent, 0.31 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in January 2019 (13.93) per cent.”
However, month-on-month, the core sub-index increased by 0.65 per cent in February representing a decline by 0.16 per cent when compared with 0.81 per cent recorded in January, the NBS further stated.