December Inflation Rate Jumps to 15.75% amid Persistent Surge in the Food Index…

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TRADERS VOICE cooking gas Inflation

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the headline Inflation rate sustained its uptrend for the 16th consecutive month to 15.75% in December 2020 (from 14.89% printed in November).

The increase in the inflation rate was caused by continuing pressure on the food and non-food index. Food inflation jumped to 19.56%(from 18.30% in November) driven by higher prices due to the festivities and higher logistics cost; albeit, the partial re-opening of the land borders in December should have helped in easing the inflationary pressures for December.

Nigeria's Inflation sustains sprint, rises to 14.89% y/y in November 2020

Imported food index also upped by 16.64% (higher than 16.54% in November) amid depreciation of the Naira – specifically, two months moving average foreign exchange rates at the BDC and Parallel market rose y-o-y by 1.44% and 1.54% to N468.45/USD and N475.43/USD respectively in December 2020.

Similarly, the core inflation rate climbed to 11.37% (from 11.05% in November) caused by an increase in passenger transport in air, medical services, hospital services, pharmaceutical products amid others.

On a monthly basis, headline inflation rose to 1.61% in December (from 1.60% in November).

Notably, monthly food inflation rose to 2.05% in December (from 2.04% in November) as prices of bread, cereals, potatoes, yam and meats, amongst others, increased while Core inflation rate increased to 1.10% (from 0.71% in November) amid higher clothing and footwear (+0.28%), transportation costs (+0.47%) as well as housing and energy costs (+0.36%).

Meanwhile, urban and rural inflation rates rose to 16.33% and 15.20% (higher than 15.47% and 14.33%) respectively.

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Outlook:

We expect inflation to be exacerbated amid higher pump price, given the rise in crude oil prices and expected upward adjustment in electricity tariff in 2021. Howbeit, we expect to see a positive effect of the border reopening on the food index as it provides some level of counterweight.