Nigerian inflation rate stood at 13.34 percent in March, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, representing a 14th consecutive monthly decline year-on-year.
Inflation dipped from 14.33 percent in February. A separate food price index showed inflation was trimmed to 16.08 percent in March, from 17.59 percent the preceding month.
On a month-on-month basis, the NBS said the headline index increased by 0.84 percent in March 2018, up by 0.05 percent points from the rate recorded in February.
However, the percentage change in the average composite Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the twelve month period ending March 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve month period was 15.60 percent, showing 0.33 percent point lower from 15.93 percent recorded in February 2018.
Food inflation has been in double digits for almost three years but has slowed for the past six months.
Godwin Emefiele,Central Bank Governor last week highlighted the slow moderation of food inflation amidst improving economic conditions. He noted the potential risk from rising global inflation on domestic prices.
Nigeria emerged from its first recession in 25 years in 2017 but growth remains fragile, although higher oil prices and debt sales over the past few months have helped the continent’s biggest crude producer to accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves.
Yemi Kale, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, has said he expects the rate of inflation to fall faster this year compared with 2017, but activities leading up to presidential elections next year could stoke prices.
The central bank kept its main interest rate at 14 percent in April in an attempt to curb inflation, especially in food prices. It has kept rates tight for more than a year to support the naira and attract foreign investors into the debt market.
Frontpage February 21, 2019