Nigeria’s consumer price index (CPI), otherwise referred to as inflation rate for goods and services, rose to the highest level since May, at 11.28 percent in September 2018, the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) has said.
The statistics agency, in its latest CPI report published on Tuesday in Abuja, said the new rate, albeit a marginal increase by 0.05 percent, rose from 11.23 percent recorded in August, about 0.84 percent rise on a monthly basis.
The CPI measures the average change in prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living over time. The change is about 0.05 percent points higher than the rate recorded in August 2018.
Amid general increases in prices of goods and services, the latest rise is the second in two successive months after 18 consecutive months of decline, from about 17.78 percent in February 2017 to 11.14 percent in July 2018.
Despite the rising rate, the NBS said core inflation, which actually mirrors the actual inflation for the country’s economy, dropped marginally to about 9.8 percent, from 10 percent.
Analysts say the new inflation figure is still in line with the federal government’s target of a single digit rate in the foreseeable future.
A research analyst at SY&T Communications Limited, Lukman Otunuga, said most investors in the Nigerian stock market were concerned the latest rise in inflation was not the onset of another round of inflationary pressures in Nigeria during the final trading quarter of the year.
Mr Otunuga said concerns may heighten over inflation edging away from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s target of six to nine percent.
He said market expectations were for a cut, any moment, in the monetary policy rate (MPR), otherwise called lending rate, by the monetary policy committee (MPC) of the CBN.
“The combination of rising inflation, uncertainty ahead of the 2019 elections, global trade tensions and U.S. rate hike expectations are all likely factors to force the CBN to retain status quo (in the MPR) this quarter,” Mr Otunuga noted.
Details from the NBS report, showed food inflation, on a year-on-year basis, increased further from 13.16 percent in August to 13.31 percent.
The NBS said the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of potatoes, yams and other tubers, vegetables, fruits, meat, milk, cheese and egg, bread and cereals, and fish.
Also, housing and utility prices dropped from 7.27 percent in the previous month to 7.25 percent during the months under review.
Other details included an increase in education price from 9.83 percent to about 9.92 percent; health (9.65 percent compared to 9.64 percent); restaurants & hotels (9.39 percent compared to 9.38 percent) and communication (6.79 percent compared to 6.32 percent).
Besides, other costs dropped in respect of clothing and footwear (10.03 percent against10.20 percent in August); transport (10.50 percent from10.65 percent); furnishings & household equipment maintenance (9.79 percent from 10.07 percent) and miscellaneous goods and services (9.85 percent from 10.03 percent).
Although the NBS said inflation was steady at 8.32 percent for recreation and culture, the NBS said ”all items less farm produce” or annual core inflation, which excludes the price of volatile agricultural products, declined to 9.84 percent in September from 10.02 percent in the previous month.
The highest increases were recorded in prices of fuels and lubricants for personal transport, vehicle spare parts, dental services, tobacco, carpets, and other floor coverings, furniture, and furnishing, Hospital services.
The statistics agency said latest increases affected all 12 classification of individual consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions and all items levels, which yielded the headline index.
The 12 COICOP divisions included food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and kola; clothing and footwear; housing, water, electricity, gas; furnishings, household equipment; health; transport; communication; recreation and culture; education; restaurants and hotels as well as miscellaneous goods and services.
The annual urban inflation rate rose by 11.7 percent during the month, from 11.67 percent in August 2018, while the rural inflation rate increased by 10.92 percent in September 2018 from 10.84 percent in August 2018.
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