The country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April showed that prices of goods and services surged for the third consecutive month to 13.7 per cent just as food price index soared to 13.2 per cent from March.
Latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday that headline index (year-on-year) increased by roughly 0.9 per cent points from 12.8 per cent rates recorded in March, while food sub-index jumped by 0.4 per cent points from rates recorded in March.
The bureau said the higher rate of increase relative to the previous month reflected in faster increases across all divisions, except the restaurants and hotels division, which rose at a slower pace for the third consecutive month.
The rise in inflation in April followed the lingering structural constraints associated with higher electricity rates, household kerosene prices, the negative impact of higher premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, prices and vehicle spare parts.
The NBS said the pressures from the above items as well as other imported items continued to have ripple effects across many divisions that contributed to the hike in core inflation rate.
The food index reflected tighter supplies across most groups, which increased at a faster pace driven by higher food prices in fish, bread and cereals, and vegetables groups.
During the month, headline index increased on a month-on-month basis, except in housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuel divisions, while the index increased at a slower pace.
On year-on-year, both the urban and rural indices recorded marked increases for the third consecutive month in March, with the urban index rising by 1.6 per cent points from 13.5 per cent in March to 15.1 per cent.
While the rural index increased, upward pressure on prices were relatively less severe in the rural areas as the index increased by 0.7 per cent points from 12 per cent in March 12.8 per cent (year-on-year).
On a month-on-month basis, the NBS said while the urban index increased at a faster pace, from 2.0 per cent in the previous month to 2.2 per cent in April, the rural index increased at a slower pace, from 2.1 per cent in March to 1.4 per cent in April.
Increases in imported as well as domestically produced foods resulted in a higher increase in the food index in April, with all groups contributing to the index, except fruit and “potatoes, yams and other tuber” groups.
On a month-on-month basis, the CPI report said the food sub-index increased by 1.3 per cent in April, 1.0 per cent points lower from rates recorded in March, with all groups contributing to the increase in index, except “milk, cheese and eggs” group.
The highest price increases were recorded in the bread and cereals; oils and fats, and meats groups, with the average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending in April 2016 over the previous 12- month average being 10.8 per cent, 0.3 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in March.
The “All items less Farm Produce” index increased by 13.4 per cent in April, about 1.2 per cent points from 12.2 per cent recorded in March.
The highest price increases were recorded in the electricity, motor cars, fuels and lubricants for passenger transport (petrol), and liquid fuels (kerosene) groups.
The average 12-month annual rate of rise of the index was recorded at 9.6 per cent for the 12-month period ending in April 2016, 0.5 per cent points higher from the 12-month rate of change recorded in March (9.1 per cent).