Inflation Drops to 13.34% in March 2018; 0.99% Lower Than February 2018 Rate

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), has further dropped to 13.33 percent in March 2018 from 0.99 percent recorded in February 2018.

The NBS disclosed this in its CPI report for March 2018 released on Thursday in Abuja.

According to the bureau, inflation increased by 13.34 percent (year-on-year) in March 2018. This fourteenth consecutive disinflation since January 2017 is 0.99 percent points less than the rate recorded in February 2018 (14.33) percent. Increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yield the Headline Index.

On a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 0.84 percent in March 2018, up by 0.05 percent points from the rate recorded in February.

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve month period ending March 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve month period was 15.60 percent, showing 0.33 percent point lower from 15.93 percent recorded in February 2018.

The Urban inflation rate eased by 13.75 percent (year-on-year) in March 2018 from 14.76 percent recorded in February, while the Rural inflation rate also eased by 12.99 percent in March 2018 from 13.96 percent in February.

According to the report, the Composite Food Index rose by 16.08 percent (year on year) in March 2018, down from the rate recorded in February (17.59 percent). On a month-on-month basis, the Food sub-index increased by 0.90 percent in March 2018, up by 0.05 percent points from 0.85 percent recorded in February.

The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending March 2018 over the previous twelve-month average was 19.29 percent, 0.23 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in February (19.52) percent.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. 

All Items Less Farm Produce (Core Inflation)

The ‘’All Items less Farm Produce’’ or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, rose by 11.2 percent in March 2018, down by 0.5 percent points from the rate recorded in February (11.7) percent. On a month-on-month basis, the Core sub-index increased by 0.84 percent in March 2018, higher by 0.09 percent when compared with 0.75 percent recorded in February.

The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 12.33 percent for the twelve-month period ending March 2018; this is 0.34 percent points lower than 12.67 percent recorded in February.

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. 

State Profiles

In analyzing price movements under this section, note that the CPI is weighted by consumption expenditure patterns which differ across States. Accordingly, the weight assigned to a particular food or non-food item may differ from State to State making inter-State comparisons of consumption basket inadvisable and potentially misleading

All Items Inflation

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

Food Inflation

In March 2018, food inflation on a year on year basis was highest in Nasarawa (20.83%), Bayelsa (19.03%)and Yobe (18.93%), while Kogi (11.99%), Bauchi (12.60%) and Benue (13.07%) recorded the slowest rise in food inflation.

On a month on month basis, however, March 2018 food inflation was highest in Nasarawa (3.22%), Ebonyi (2.97%) and Jigawa (2.37%), while 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.

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