Food index price down by 1.33 per cent in February, says NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday said food index dropped by about 1.33 percent points to 17.59 percent in February, from about 18.92 percent rate recorded in January 2018.

The statistics agency said in its latest Consumer Price Index report for the month that price movements by all items less farm produce, or core sub-index were down by about 0.4 percent points from 12.10 percent in January to 11.7 percent in February 2018.

Equally, the agency said the CPI, which measures inflation rate in the economy, increased by 14.33 percent (year-on-year) in February 2018.

The Bureau said the increment, which is the 13th consecutive disinflation since January 2017, was about 0.8 percent points less than the 15.13 per cent rate recorded in January 2018.

The Headline index on a month-on-month basis increased by about 0.79 percent in February 2018, down by 0.01 percent points from the rate recorded in January.

The report indicated that Composite Food Index for the month rose by 17.59 percent.

The increases, the NBS explained, was as a result of the increases in prices of bread and cereals, milk, cheese and egg, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish and vegetables, coffee, tea and cocoa.

Compared to the previous month, the latest food sub-index increased by 0.85 percent in February 2018, down by 0.02 percent points from 0.87 percent recorded in January.

The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending February 2018 over the previous 12 month average was 19.52 percent, 0.1 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in January (19.62) percent.

The NBS attributed the increases recorded to the improvement in all 12 Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield the Headline Index.

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 month period ending February 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 month period was 15.93 percent.

This showed about 0.29 percent point lower from 16.22 percent recorded in January 2018.

During the month under review, the NBS report said all major food sub-indexes increased, with the highest level found in fuel prices and lubricants for personal transport equipment.

In terms of “All Items less Farm Produce”, the NBS said Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood at about 11.7 percent in February 2018. It was down by 0.4 percent points from the 12.10 percent rate recorded in January.

The Core sub-index for the month, the statistics bureau said, increased by 0.75 percent, up by 0.07 percent when compared with 0.68 percent recorded in January.

The NBS said the increase also affected the price for maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, narcotics, vehicle spare parts, passenger transport by air, clearing, repair and hire of clothing, hospital services, domestic services and household services and glassware, tableware and household utensils.
Besides, the report said the urban inflation rate rose by 14.76 percent (year-on-year) in February 2018, from 15.56 percent recorded in January, against Rural inflation rate, which eased by 13.96 percent in February 2018, from 14.76 percent in January.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.82 percent in February 2018, down by 0.01 from 0.83 percent recorded in January, while the rural index also rose by 0.77 percent in February 2018, showing no difference with the rate recorded in January.

“The corresponding 12 month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 16.24 percent in February 2018,” the NBS said.

“This is less than 16.55 percent reported in January, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in February 2018 is 15.64 percent compared to 15.89 percent recorded in January.

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