From: Basil Obasi, Abuja
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for March 2017 has indicated a further decline in the rate of inflation by 0.52 percent points lower from the rate recorded in February (17.78) percent to 17.26 percent
According to the NBS, this is the second consecutive month of a decline in the headline CPI on a year on year basis, representing the effects of stabilizing prices in already high food and non-food prices as well as favourable base effects over 2016 prices.
The bureau however noted that, the major divisions responsible for accelerating the pace of the increase in the headline index were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel, education, food and alcoholics beverages, clothing and footwear and transportation services.
The report further revealed that the food index increased by 18.44 percent (year-on-year) in March, slightly down 0.09 percent points from rate recorded in February (18.53) percent driven by increases in the prices of bread, cereals, meat, fish, potatoes, yams and other tubers and wine, while the slowest increase in food prices year on year were recorded by soft drinks, fruits, coffee, tea and cocoa.
The NBS report also stated that price movements recorded by all items less farm produce or core sub-index rose by 15.40 percent (year-on-year) in March, down by 0.60 percent points from rate recorded in February (16.00) percent.
Also, urban index rose by 18.27 percent (year-on-year) in March from 18.57 percent recorded in February, and the rural index increased by 16.47 percent in March from 16.98 percent in February.
The report further disclosed that during the month, the highest increases were seen in miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling, electricity, solid fuels, clothing materials and other articles of clothing, liquid fuel, spirits as well as fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment.
In a related report also released by the NBS yesterday, titled ‘Selected Food Price Watch Data For March 2016’ the bureau disclosed that the average price of 1 dozen of medium size agric-eggs increased year-on-year by 50.38% and month-on-month by 1.45% to N527.69 in March 2017 from N520.16 in February 2017 while the average price of piece of agric-eggs medium size (price of one) increased year-on-year by 40.80% and month-on-month by 2.39% to N43.93 in March 2017 from N42.90 in February 2017.
According to the report, the average price of 1kg of tomato increased year-on-year by 29.63% and month-on-month by 13.53% to N268.64 in March 2017 from N236.62 in February 2017.
Furthermore, the average price of 1kg of rice (imported high quality sold loose) increased year-on-year by 55.00% and month-on-month by 1.98% to N418.71 in March 2017 from N410.58 in February 2017 the average price of 1kg of yam tuber increased year-on-year by 63.40% and month-on-month by 18.70% to N255.586 in March 2017 from N215.55 in February 2017.