Nigeria’s headline inflation dropped for the second consecutive month in May, but the prices of food have continued to surge.
Latest data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday indicates that the Consumer Price Index
(CPI), which measures inflation, increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in the fifth month of the year 2021.
While this is 0.19 per cent points lower than the 18.12 per cent recorded in April, increases were recorded in all
Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index.
On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.01 per cent in May, representing higher percentage
points of 0.04 than the rate recorded in the previous month (0.97 per cent).
“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending May 2021 over the average of
the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 15.50 per cent, showing a 0.46 percent point rise from 15.04 per cent
recorded in April 2021,” the NBS data titled CPI Report May 2021 read.
Similarly, the urban inflation rate rose to 18.51 percent (year-on-year) in May from 18.68 per cent recorded in April, just
as the rural inflation rate stood at 17.36 per cent in May from the 17.57 per cent previously reported.
The urban index rose to 1.04 per cent in May – up by 0.05 per cent points (on a month-on-month basis) – compared to
the rate recorded in April (0.99 per cent), while the rural index rose to 0.98 per cent in May – up by 0.03 points –
compared to the 0.95 per cent recorded in April.
According to the report, the corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is
16.09 per cent in May – higher than the 15.63 per cent reported in April while the corresponding rural inflation rate in
May is 14.94 per cent compared to the 14.48 per cent recorded in the previous month.
Food Prices On The Rise
The composite food index, on the other hand, rose by 22.28 per cent in May as against the 22.72 per cent reported in April.
This rise in the food index, the NBS explained, was as a result of increases in prices of bread, cereals, milk, cheese,
eggs, fish, soft drinks, coffee, tea and cocoa, fruits, meat, oils and fats, and vegetables.
It disclosed that the food sub-index increased by 1.05 per cent in May from the 0.99 per cent recorded in April, on a month-on-month basis.
“The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the 12-month period ending May 2021 over the
previous 12-month average was 19.18 per cent, 0.60 percent points from the average annual rate of change
recorded in April (18.58) per cent,” said the report.
The core inflation, also known as ‘all items less farm produce’, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural
produce, stood at 13.15 per cent in May as against the 12.74 per cent recorded in April.
On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 1.24 per cent in May 2021, up by 0.25 per cent when
compared with the 0.99 per cent recorded in the previous month.
According to the NBS, the highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and
other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, as well as carpet and other floor coverings.
Others are motor cars, hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire
of clothing, other services in respect of personal transport equipment, gas, household textile and nondurable household goods.
The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 11.50 per cent for the 12-month period ending in May –
representing 0.25 per cent points compared with the 11.25 per cent recorded in April.
By Victoria E.I