Nigerians to pay more for food at Christmas as prices peak in November — Statistics Bureau

Consumers of goods and services would have to pay a little more at the Christmas season as food prices increased to the highest rate this year, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, said on Sunday.

The bureau said in its latest report that food prices increased by 10.3 per cent (year-on-year) in November, about 0.2 per cent points higher from rates recorded in October.

The increase, the report explained, was as a result of faster increases in the prices of fish, bread and cereals; vegetable and meat groups, which showed a 0.8 per cent increase in October, after relative moderation in three months.

Consumer Price Index, CPI, which showed a brief respite in October at 9.3 per cent, rose marginally to 9.4 per cent in November (year-on-year) the NBS said.

The CPI measures the average change over time in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.

The latest report of a hike in inflation rate for the month suggests a bleak Christmas to most Nigerians, as most of the food items that constitute the staple of most homes during the Yuletide season would cost more.

“All major food groups which contribute to the food sub-index increased at a faster pace during the month, with the exception of the fruits group, which has been trending lower since June of this year,” the report said.

The report said increases in the “All Items less Farm Produce” or core sub-index rose at the same rate for the second consecutive month at 8.7 per cent, as rates slowed for a quarter, particularly in multiple divisions such as clothing and footwear; housing water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and furnishings and household equipment maintenance, amongst others.

The NBS report captured the negative impact of the recent fuel scarcity on the prices of goods and services during the month under review, pointing out that the increase in the CPI was driven by higher prices.

Prices in Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages division as well as Transportation were most affected, according to the report, attributing it to shortages in the supply of petrol.

The immediate impact of the recent scarcity of petroleum products across most major capital cities, including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, was felt in the transportation of people and goods across the country, as operators of transport systems hiked their fares.

Those involved in the Food sub-sector were compelled to pay an average increase of 10.3 per cent (year-on-year) during the month, about 0.2 per cent points from price paid in October.

On a month-on-month basis, the NBS said Headline Index as well as the Food and Core sub-indices all increased at a faster pace in November by 0.7 per cent, 0.3 per cent  points higher from 0.4 per cent in October.

During the month, the NBS said urban index recorded 9.4 per cent increase (year-on-year) as in October, while Rural index also moved higher from 9.2 per cent in October to 9.3 per cent.

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending in November grew marginally over the average CPI for the corresponding period from 8.8 per cent in October to 8.9 per cent.

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