Inflation rises to 11.7% in August, says statistics bureau

The Bureau says the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded a 6.28% growth during the corresponding month.
Nigeria’s economy recorded contrasting fortunes for the month of August, as composite Consumer Price Index, CPI, and Gross Domestic Product, GDP, showed conflicting movements along the economic curve,  the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said.

While the CPI, which measures prevailing inflation rate for a particular period, rose to 11.7 per cent on year-on-year basis, GDP, which measures the country’s aggregate income and productivity levels, grew by 6.28 per cent in the second quarter of 2012.

Considering that a rise in inflation rate diminishes the purchasing power of the average consumer in any economy, analyst say the country’s economy cannot be said to be making a positive impact with its managers claiming that it is growing. The NBS said in its monitoring report on the overall performance of the economy, in the second quarter of 2012, that the inflation rate was higher by about 0.67 per cent when compared with the preceding month.

According to the Bureau, the urban inflation rate for the month under review stood at 14.4 per cent on year-on-year basis, while the rural index reveals a 9.7 per cent increase on year-on-year basis. Similarly, it said the ‘Urban All Items’ index increased by 0.69 per cent month-on-month, while the corresponding rural index increased by 0.66 per cent, when compared with July’s level.

“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in August 2012 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 11.8 per cent,” the report said.

“The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for urban and rural indices was 12.4 and 11.4 respectively. The composite food Index increased on year-on-year basis by 9.9 percent to 135.9 points in August 2012, down from 12.1 percent in July 2012.”

The relative moderation of food prices over the month of August could be attributable to a significant base effect, the bureau said.  During the same period last year, the food index increased sharply by 2.7 per cent partially as a result of higher fish, and tuber prices, as well as fruits due to the fasting period.

“As this was rather uncommon, the year-on-year percentage change in August 2012 reflects a lower year-on-year estimate due to the sharp increase in August 2011. The Food Index was also higher than levels recorded in July of this year by 0.7 per cent. The appreciation in the food Index was largely across all major class lead by higher prices in fish, oils and fats, and meats. The increase in the Food sub-index were also partially driven by increase in imported foods price,” the NBS noted.

However, in spite the decline in major global economies as a result of huge debts and other fiscal crisis in Europe, Asia and America in the past months, the NBS noted that the country’s economy has continued to demonstrate strength as measured by the 6.28 per cent growth in real GDP in the second quarter of 2012. Noting that the growth rate is slower than the 7.61 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2011, the latest report showed that the nominal GDP for the three month period, which ended in June this year, is estimated at N9.84 trillion but is still higher than the N9.17 trillion recorded during the corresponding period of last year.

A breakdown of the contributions to the growth rate showed clearly that the non-oil sector was growing faster, spurred by the growth in activities in the building & construction sectors,while the oil sector’s contributions dipped, with overall crude oil production declining when compared to the corresponding figure for the second quarter of last year.

The oil sector, with an average oil production capacity of 2.38 million barrels per day, with its associated gas components, recorded a real terms growth rate of  minus 0.73 per cent as against the 2.45 million barrels per day, representing 0.98 per cent growth, in the corresponding period of last year. Even though it remained a major driver of the economy over the past year, the NBS said the non-oil sector also experienced a slower growth rate in the second quarter of 2012, with a growth rate of 7.5 per cent in real terms, compared with 8.85 per cent in the corresponding period of last year.

The NBS attributed the slower growth rate to a decline in activities in the wholesale and retail trade, telecommunications and agricultural sector. The agricultural sector, which is the largest contributor to the country’s GDP growth, also showed significant decline in performance,  with real agricultural GDP growth in Q2, 2012 dropping to 3.97 per cent as against 5.95 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

The Bureau attributed the decline in the agricultural sector’s output largely to persisting constraints, including difficulty in transporting farm inputs and produce in major agricultural producing states, especially in the northern part of the country, as well as high rainfall intensity during the quarter, which resulted in flooding and decreased output in some parts of the country.

Sectoral appraisal of performance, in terms of contributions to the real GDP, indicated that the manufacturing sector fared well with an increase in growth rate from 7.34 per cent in the second quarter of 2011 to 7.45 per cent in the review period in 2012, while the telecommunication sector recorded a real GDP growth of 29.77 per cent in the review period compared to 33.70 per cent recorded in Q1, 2011.

The wholesale and retail trade sector grew by 8.61 percent in Q1, 2012, representing a decline of 2.86 per cent over the 11.47 per-cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of last year, compared with the real sector growth rate which stood at 10.87 per cent in Q2, 2012, compared with 10.48 per cent in the corresponding period of last year

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