By Charles Abuede
- Food, core inflation rise to 18.30%, 11.05% in line with analysts’ expectations
With the festive period already at hand and as Nigerians grapple with the continuous rise in food prices, it is now no longer news that the menace of poor harvest and storage facilities, the disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the recent flooding which eroded several farmlands in the north, will result in adverse effect on prices of agricultural commodities in the country.
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For the 15th consecutive month, headline inflation rose to 14.89 per cent, the highest since January 2018, new statistics show.
Data released Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) confirmed officially that food inflation rose sharply for the first time in 34 months to 18.3 per cent in November 2020.
A breakdown of the inflation report from the Abuja based statistics office shows that the rise in the food index, which is a major driver of the headline inflation, was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and oils and fats. This pushed up the food sub-index by 2.04 per cent in November 2020, rising by 0.08 percentage points from 1.96 per cent recorded in October 2020 on a month-on-month comparison.
Rise in food, core indexes pushes headline inflation 15th consecutive months to 14.89%
The NBS further revealed that the headline inflation for the month of November 2020 rose to 14.89 per cent for the first time since January 2018 when it recorded the highest rate of 15.13 per cent. The figure is 0.66 per cent higher than the October 2020 figure of 14.23 per cent.
The rise in the rate is attributable to increases across both the food and core components as the food sub-index in line with analysts’ expectations rose to 18.30 per cent and 11.05 per cent in the review month, reflecting rises in bread, tubers, and fish among other key items.
Notwithstanding the comfort inflation seems to have found in the nation’s economy, a cursory analysis of the data shows that the bureau singles out above-average price increases for several items, reflecting life under Covid-19, including medical and hospital services, pharmaceuticals, motor cars, vehicle repairs and passenger transport, as well as the official removal of fuel subsidies and foreign exchange shortages.
A further analysis of the price movement for the month of November across different states of the country shows Bauchi (19.67%), Kogi (19.81%) and Zamfara (17.30%) states, recorded the highest rising headline year-on-year, while Abia (13.26%), Delta (13.20%) and Kwara (12.24%), recorded the slowest rise.
Kogi (3.08%), Bauchi (2.33%) and Oyo (2.25%), recorded the fastest rise in inflation on a monthly comparison; as River (0.88%), Akwa Ibom (0.77%) and Nasarawa (0.44%) recorded the slowest rise in headline month-on-month inflation.
Inflationary pressures in festive period, December
Going into the celebratory season, there is an anticipation of inflationary pressures that will subsist arising from the usual increase in year-end import bill, which will further stir up the demand for the dollar and may pose pressures on the numbers.