Nigeria’s Inflation Drops to 16.25 Percent‎ in May

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For the fourth consecutive month, inflation rate has continued to trend downwards, dropping from 17.24 per cent in April to 16.25 per cent in May, representing a 0.99 per cent point slide. This is according to the latest figures released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Figures from the Bureau showed that from 18.55 per cent in December 2016, Nigeria’s inflation rate increased to 18.72 per cent in January 2017, dropped to 17.78 per cent in February, 17.26 per cent in March and 17.24 per cent in April.

The report further stated that,  the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the parameter for measuring inflation, increased by 16.25 per cent (year-on-year) in May 2017, compared to 17.24 per cent in April.

On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.88 per cent in May 2017, 0.28 per cent points higher than the rate of 1.60 per cent recorded in April 2017. This was indicative of the persistent pressure on prices despite the general decline in year-on-year inflation.

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending in May 2017 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was 17.63 per cent higher from 17.59 per cent recorded in April 2017.

Food Prices Remain High

Despite the perceived gains in curbing inflation, food index increased by 19.27 per cent (year-on-year) in May 2017, down by 0.03 per cent points from the rate recorded in April (19.30 per cent), indicating continued pressure in food prices.

Although the inflation rate is trending down, the NBS explained that the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of meat, bread and cereals, fish, potatoes, milk, cheese and eggs, as well as vegetables such as tomatoes.

Price movements recorded by All Items less farm produce or Core sub-index rose by 13 per cent (year-on-year) in May, down by 1.80 per cent points from the rate recorded in April (14.80 per cent). This represented the seventh straight month of decline in the core index since November 2016.

The urban index rose by 16.34 per cent (year-on-year) in May 2017, from 17.62 per cent recorded in April, while the rural index increased by 16.02 per cent in May, from 16.69 per cent in April. On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.84 per cent in May, from 1.61 per cent recorded in April, while the rural index rose by 1.92 per cent in May, from 1.59 per cent in April.

The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index increased from 18.98 per cent in April to 18.88 per cent in May, while the corresponding rural index also increased from 16.37 per cent in April to 16.50 per cent in May.

The report further indicated that All Items, excluding Farm Produce or Core sub-index, eased by 1.80 per cent during the month to 13 per cent points, from 14.80 per cent recorded in April. On a month-on-month basis, the Core sub-index increased by 1.17 per cent in May, 0.07 per cent points higher than the 1.10 per cent recorded in April.

Mixed Fortunes for Transportation

The transport fare watch report for May also indicated that the average fare paid by intercity commuters for bus journey within decreased by 2.72 per cent month-on-month and increased by 48.78 per cent year-on-year to N131 in May 2017, from N134.66 in April 2017.

States with highest bus journey fares within city in May 2017 were Abuja (N250.00), Katsina (N212.82) and Cross River (N211.82), while states with lowest bus journey fares within city in May 2017 were Enugu (N79.55), Yobe (N75.00) and Borno (N58.57).

Average fares paid by commuters for bus journey intercity decreased by 1.39 per cent month-on-month and increased by 33.96 per cent year-on-year to N1,565 in May 2017, from N1,587.04 in April 2017.

States with the highest bus journey fares within city in May 2017 were Abuja (N4,833.33), Adamawa (N3,266.67) and Niger (N2,388.89), while states with the lowest bus journey fares within city in May 2017 were Kano (N875.00), Katsina (N900.00) & ‎Jigawa (N995.45).

The average fare paid by air passengers for specified routes single journey increased by 2.76 per cent month-on-month and by 35.62 per cent year-on-year to N31,651.79 in May 2017, from N30,803.03 in April 2017.

States with the highest air fares in April 2017 were Abuja FCT (N43,000), Jigawa (N40,800.23) and Taraba (N40,000), while states with the lowest air fares in May 2017 were Katsina (N23,450.00), Kogi (N23,400.00) and Osun (N25,400).

The average fare paid by commuters for journey by motorcycle per drop decreased by 1.32 per cent month-on-month and increased by 20.20 per cent year-on-year to N99.49 in May 2017, from N100.82 in April 2017.

States with the highest journey fares by motorcycle per drop in April 2017 were Bayelsa (N174.55), Rivers (N196.67) and Abia (N159), while states with the lowest journey fare by motorcycle per drop in May 2017 were Niger (N52.22), Bauchi (N55.00) & Zamfara (N56.25).

The average fare paid by passengers for water way passenger transport increased by 0.65 per cent month-on-month and 14.78 per cent year-on-year to N601.42 in May 2017, from N597.56 in April 2017.

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