Inflation in Nigeria climbed further to 15.92 per cent in March, the highest rise in the consumer price index since last October, underlining a difficult time for Nigerians who face pressure from every side including food shortage, rising energy costs and insecurity
Inflation was 15.70 per cent in February and from the latest report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the food sub-index also jumped to 1.99 per cent in March 2022.
The NBS in its latest Consumer price index (CPI) report released on Friday, noted,
“In March 2022, the consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased to 15.92 per cent on a year-on-year basis. This is 2.25 per cent points lower compared to 18.17 per cent, the rate recorded in March 2021″.
This means that the headline inflation rate slowed down in March 2022 when compared to the same month in the previous year,” the Bureau stated.
Nigeria is challenged by the crippling rise in the price of diesel which is used to power businesses in the absence of grid electricity. The situation is expected to get worse in the coming weeks when the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is felt.
The country is also facing a Foreign exchange crisis where the shortage of dollars has driven imports higher and manufacturers lamenting the effect that has also driven some businesses to closure despite the government’s restrictions to support the currency.
“On a month-on-month basis, the Headline Index increased to 1.74 per cent in March 2022, representing 0.11 per cent points higher than1.63 per cent, the rate recorded in February 2022.
The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months ending March 2022 over the average previous twelve months period is 16.54 per cent, this shows 0.19 per cent points decrease compared to 16.73 per cent recorded in February 2022,” the NBS added.
According to the NBS, the “urban Inflation rate increased to 16.44 per cent year-on-year in March 2022 showing a decline of 2.32 per cent points from the rate recorded in March 2021 (18.76 per cent). In the same vein, the Rural Inflation increased to 15.42 per cent in March 2022 with a decrease of 2.18 per cent points from 17.60 per cent recorded in March 2021.
“On a month-on-month basis, the Urban Index rose to 1.76 per cent in March 2022, this was up by 0.11 per cent points from the rate recorded in February 2022 (1.65 per cent). The Rural Index rose to 1.73 per cent in March 2022, with a 0.12 per cent point increase from 1.61 per cent recorded in February 2022.
The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban in- dex was 17.10 per cent in March 2022. This was lower than 17.29 per cent reported in February 2022, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in March 2022 stood at 16.00 per cent compared to 16.18 per cent recorded in February 2022.”
Price, according to the statistics office rose faster on the increasing price of foods like bread and cereals, Food product, Potatoes, yam and other tuber, Fish, Meat, Oils and fat.
“The composite food index rose to 17.20 per cent in March 2022 compared to 22.95 per cent recorded in March 2021. This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Food product, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Fish, Meat, Oils and fats.
“On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased to 1.99 per cent in March 2022, this was up by 0.12 per cent points from 1.87 per cent points recorded in February 2022.
“The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve months ending March 2022 over the previous twelve-month average was 19.21 per cent, 0.48 per cent points decrease from the average annual rate of change recorded in February 2022 (19.69 per cent).
“The “All items less farm produce’’ or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.91 per cent in March 2022 and was up by 1.24 per cent points when compared to 12.67 per cent recorded in March 2021. On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased to 0.98 per cent in March 2022.
According to the Bureau, “the was down by 0.35 per cent points compared to 1.33 per cent recorded in February 2021. The highest increases were recorded in prices of Gas, Garments, Cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, shoes and other footwear, Clothing materials, other articles of clothing and clothing accessories, Liquid Fuel, Fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment and other services in respect of personal transport equipment.
“The average 12-month annual rate of change of the core sub-index was 13.56 per cent for the twelve months ending March 2022; this was 0.10 per cent points higher than 13.46 per cent recorded in February 2022.