Consumers are paying more for goods and services in the Nigerian economy, as the monthly consumer price index (CPI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed a 0.9 per cent increase for September.
On a year-on-year basis, the CP1, which measures the average change in prices of goods and services consumed by the people over a month, showed a rise in September by about 0.24 percentage points to 17.9 per cent, from 17.6 per cent in August.
The new figure is highest in11 years and the eighth monthly rise in a row, highlighting a deepening economic crisis since the NBS confirmed the country’s economy fell into recession more than a month ago.
The NBS said the rise in inflation figure for September was a reflection that Nigerians were paying higher prices for electricity, kerosene, transport and food.
The food sub-index showed an increase of 1.2 per cent from 16.4 per cent in August to 16.6 per cent, with highest increases recorded in meat, fish, bread and cereals.
Although food items as well as other necessary inputs to produce key local staple foods, such as bread, continue to drive the food index higher, the NBS said a number of groups within the food index recorded falls in the rate of price increases, including fish, which had previously been a key driver, as well as oils and fats, and fruits.
Under the core index, the NBS said the highest increases were recorded in clothing and footwear, liquid and solid fuels as well as books, stationery and lubricants for personal transport equipment groups.
During the month, the highest increases were seen in clothing materials, other articles of clothing and clothing accessories, garments, shoes and other footwear, books and stationeries, jewellery, clocks and watches, and motorcycles,” the NBS said.
Although incessant attacks on oil facilities by militant groups in the Niger Delta has abated, the negative impact of declining global crude oil prices is still a big issue for the economy.
The scarcity of foreign currency, especially dollars, to enable manufacturers import raw materials, has contributed in no small measure in frustrating struggling businesses seeking local alternatives in production.
The NBS has revised its estimates for year-end inflation index to between 17.1 per cent and 18 per cent, from 9 per cent at the beginning of the year.