Higher Food Prices Drive Inflation to 15.92%, Highest in 5 Months

James Emejo in Abuja

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased to 15.92 per cent (Year on year) in March 2022 compared to 18.17 per cent in March 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday.
This is the highest level inflation had attained since October 2021,  when it was recorded at 15.99 per cent before dropping to 15.40 per cent in November, 15.63 per cent in December,  15.60 per cent in January and 15.70 per cent February.

Month on month, the headline index increased by 0.11 per cent to 1.74 per cent in March compared to 1.63 per cent in February.

According to the CPI figures for March,  this implied that on annual comparison,  the headline index slowed down in March 2022 when compared to the same month in the previous year.
Nonetheless, month-on-month,  the food sub-index increased to 1.99 per cent in March, up by 0.12 per cent from 1.87 per cent in February.

According to the statistical agency,  month on month, food inflation was highest in Anambra with 3.78 per cent, followed by Niger with 3.60 per cent and Zamfara 3.31 per cent in the month under review.
On the other hand,  Oyo recorded the slowest rise on with -0.19 per cent fol­lowed by Jigawa and Ekiti with -0.10 per cent and 0.41 per cent respectively.

However,  countrywide, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, food product,  potatoes, yam and other tuber, fish, meat, oils and fats.

The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending March 2022 over the previous 12-month average was 19.21 per cent or 0.48 per­ cent decrease from the 19.69 per cent recorded in February.

Month on month,  the core sub-index stood at 0.98 per cent in March,  down by 0.35 per cent compared to 1.33 per cent in February.
The highest increases were recorded in prices of gas, garments, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, shoes and other foot wear, clothing materials, other articles of clothing and cloth­ing accessories, liquid fuel, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment and oth­er services in respect of personal transport equipment.

Year on year, the core index , which excludes the prices of volatile ag­ricultural produce rose to 13.91 per cent in March 2022, up by 1.24 per cent when compared to 12.67 per cent in March the previous year.
In addition,  the Urban inflation rate also rose month on month  to 1.76 per cent in March 2022, up by  0.11 per cent compared to 1.65 per cent in February.

The rural in­dex rose to 1.73 per cent in March,  an increase of 0.12 per cent from 1.61 per cent in February.
Year on year,  urban inflation increased to 16.44 per cent in March,  showing a decline of 2.32 per cent compared to 18.76 per cent in 2021.
In the same vein, rural inflation stood at 15.42 per cent in March compared to 17.60 per cent in March 2021.

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