Lagos – Nigeria’s headline inflation declined for the eighth consecutive year-on-year since January 2017 as it eased marginally to 15.98 in September from 16.01 percent in August.
However, food prices remain sticky, rising in the review period by 0.07 percent.
This is according to data released Tuesday by the Nigerian statistical agency, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS data indicates that consumer price index (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 15.98 percent (year-on-year) in September 2017, down 0.03 percent from the rate recorded in August (16.01) percent.
It noted that increases were recorded in all the divisions of the classification of individual consumption by purpose (COICOP) that yielded the headline index.
On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.78 percent in September 2017, 0.19 percent points lower from the rate of 0.97 percent recorded in August.
The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in September 2017 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 17.17 percent, showing 0.16 percent point lower from 17.33 percent recorded in August 2017.
The urban index rose by 16.18 percent (year-on-year) in September 2017, up by 0.05 percent point from 16.13 percent recorded in August and the rural index increased by 15.81 percent in September, down from 15.91 percent in August.
On month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.84 percent in September 2017, down from 0.99 percent recorded in August, while the rural index rose by 0.74 percent in September 2017, down from 0.95 percent in August.
The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index decreased from 18.15 percent in August to 17.87 percent in September, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in September was 16.52 percent compared to 16.58 percent recorded in August 2017.
Food price pressure continued into September as all major food sub-indexes increased. The Food Index increased by 20.32 percent (year-on-year) in September, up marginally by 0.07 percent points from the rate recorded in August (20.25 percent).
The rise in the index was caused by increases in prices of potatoes, yams and other tubers, milk cheese and eggs, bread and cereals, coffee tea and cocoa, soft drinks, fish, meat and oil and fats.
On a month-on-month basis, the Food sub-index increased by 0.87 percent in September, down from 1.14 percent recorded in August.
The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending in September 2017 over the previous twelve month average was 18.88 percent, 0.31 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in August (18.57) percent.
The “All Items less Farm Produce” or Core sub-index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce eased further during the month of September to 12.10 percent points from 12.30 percent recorded in August as all key divisions which contributes to the index increased.
On a month-on-month basis, the Core sub-index increased by 0.80 percent in September, lower from 0.93 percent recorded in August. The highest increases were recorded in clothing materials and articles of clothing, solid fuels, garments, passenger transport by air, motorcycles, shoes and other footwear, furniture and furnishing and nondurable household goods.
The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 14.90 percent for the twelve-month period ending in September 2017, this is 0.47 percent points lower than 15.37 percent recorded in August. While headline inflation slowed for the eighth consecutive month, it has been outside the Central Bank’s target range of six percent to nine percent for more than two years even as policy makers raised the key lending rate to a record high of 14 percent.
Analysts at Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) had projected marginal decline in headline inflation year-on-year to 15.99 percent for the month of September 2017, adding that continued marginal decline might encourage the CBN to maintain a contractionary monetary policy to prevent a relapse in inflation levels.