By Audrey Lotechukwu
TUE SEPT 15, 2020-theGBJournal-Consumer price index, (CPI) rose to 13.22 % (year-on-year) in August 2020, up from 12.82 % in July 2020, the highest level since March 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) inflation data published today.
Inflation has been on the rise over the past few months, reaching a two-year high of 12.82 % in July, thanks to accelerating food and transport prices. These were, in turn, driven by a weaker NGN, rising transportation costs, as well as supply bottlenecks.
‘’The Rising inflation will dent consumer income further, which has already been hit by a sharp contraction in the economy, as a result of the double-whammy of falling oil prices and the pandemic, as well as rising unemployment,’’ says EFG Hermes in a note to theGBJournal.
They suggest that recent reform measures to tackle Nigeria’s structural imbalances by the Federal Government, including liberalisation of fuel prices, hike in electricity tariffs and near unification of the various exchange rates, will only lift inflation up, and further increase hardships on Nigerian consumers.
The latest NBS data showed that on a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 1.34 % in August 2020. This is 0.09 % higher than the rate recorded in July 2020 (1.25%).
Core inflation stood at 10.52 percent in August 2020, up by 0.42 percent when compared with 10.10 percent recorded in July 2020.
On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 1.05% in August 2020. This was up by 0.30 percent when compared with 0.75 % recorded in July 2020. The highest increases were recorded in prices of Passenger transport by air, Hospital services, Medical services, Pharmaceutical products among other items.
The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 9.64% for the twelve-month period ending August 2020. This is 0.16% points higher than 9.48% recorded in July 2020.
The urban inflation rate increased by 13.83 % (year-on-year) in August 2020 from 13.40 % recorded in July 2020, while the rural inflation rate increased by 12.65 percent in August 2020 from 12.28 percent in July 2020.
On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.42 % in August 2020, up by 0.15 from 1.27 % recorded in July 2020, while the rural index also rose by 1.27 % in August 2020, up by 0.04 from the rate recorded in July 2020 (1.23 %).
The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 12.85% in August 2020. This is higher than 12.66 % reported in July 2020, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in August 2020 was 11.66 percent compared to 11.49 % recorded in July 2020.
The composite food index rose by 16.00% in August 2020 compared to 15.48% in July 2020, driven by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers, Meat, Fish, Fruits, Oils and fats and Vegetables.
On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.67 percent in August 2020, up by 0.15 percent points from 1.52 percent recorded in July 2020.
In August 2020, all items index on year on year basis was highest in Kogi (17.29%), Bauchi (15.77%) and Ebonyi and Yobe (14.71%), while Lagos (11.45%), Kwara (11.22%) and Abuja (11.17%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation.
On month on month basis however, all items inflation was highest in Ondo (2.20%), Ogun (2.07%) and Abia (1.87%), while Plateau (0.72%), Zamfara (0.60%) and Sokoto (0.54%) recorded the slowest rise in headline month on month inflation.
Food inflation on a year on year basis was highest in Kogi (22.03%), Kwara (19.11%) and Edo (17.95%), while Gombe (14.33%), Kano (13.99%) and Bauchi (13.42%) recorded the slowest rise.
On month on month basis however, food inflation was highest in Ogun (3.27%), Lagos (3.13%) and Abia (2.81%), while Plateau (0.67%), Zamfara (0.24%) and Sokoto (0.13%), recorded the slowest rise.
The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending August 2020 over the previous twelve-month average was 14.87 percent, representing a 0.24 percent points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in July 2020 (14.63 percent).