Inflation rate drops to 17.26 % in March – NBS

National Bureau of Statistics

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Thursday disclosed that the inflation rate had dropped by 0.52 per cent in March.

According to him, the inflation rate presently closed at 17.26 per cent, the second decline recorded in two months.

NBS had announced the first decline in in February when inflation dropped by 0.94 per cent to close at 17.78 per cent.

According to the Bureau, “This is the second consecutive month of a decline in the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) on a year-on-year basis. “It represents the effects of stabilising prices in already high food and non-food prices, as well as favourable base effects over 2016 prices.

“It is also indicative of early effects of a strengthened Naira in the foreign exchange market.” The report by NBS said, price increases have been recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield the Headline Index.

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The report, however, stated that the major divisions responsible for accelerating the pace of the increase in the headline index were Housing, Water, Electricity and Gas. Others, it stated, were Education, Food and Alcoholic Beverages, Clothing and Footwear and Transportation Services.

On a month-on-month basis, the report stated that the Headline index increased by 1.72 per cent in March, 0.23 per cent points higher from the rate recorded in February. The Food Index increased by 18.44 per cent (year-on-year) in March, slightly down 0.09 per cent points from the rate recorded in February, which was 18.53 per cent. It said the index was driven by increases in the prices of bread, cereals, meat, fish, potatoes, yams and other tubers and wine.

It also noted that the slowest increase in food prices year-on-year was recorded by Soft Drinks, Fruits, Coffee, Tea and Cocoa. In addition, the report maintained that price movements recorded by All Items less farm produce or Core sub-index rose by 15.40 per cent (year-on-year) in March.