Relief for consumers as inflation rate drops first time in 15 months

Relief for consumers as inflation rate drops first time in 15 months

Inflation rate has dropped in February to 17.78 percent, the lowest level in the past 15 months.

The National Bureau of Statistics in the data released on Tuesday, said the low rate was driven by a slower rise in general price level.

Inflation had risen to 18.72 percent in January, its twelfth monthly rise, and its highest level in more than 11 years, as Nigeria grapples with an economic recession, a currency crisis and dollar shortages, brought on by low oil prices.

According to NBS, “The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 17.78 per cent (year-on-year) albeit at a slower pace in February 2017, 0.94 per cent points lower from the rate recorded in January (18.72) per cent.

“This represents the first time in 15 months that the headline CPI has declined on year on year basis representing the effects of slower rises in already high food and non-food prices and favourable base effects over 2016 prices.’’

The bureau in a separate food index, showed inflation at 18.53 percent from 17.82 percent in January, pushed up by the rise in food staples such as bread, cereal and meat, while drink prices slowed.

“The Composite Food Index rose by 18.53 per cent in February 2017. The rise in the index was driven by increases in the prices of bread, cereals, meat, fish, potatoes, yams and other tubers, vegetables, wine, milk, cheese and eggs, Sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery and fruit.

“On a month-on-month basis, the Food sub-index increased by 1.99 per cent in February, up by 0.7 per cent points from 1.29 per cent recorded in January,” the report by NBS added.

The agency’s forecasts inflation to be at 15.74 percent at year-end, and 12.42 percent in 2018, which if achieved, could alleviate widespread frustration with the cost of living

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