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Higher cost for electricity, transport, others push inflation to 15.6% – NBS  

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Tuesday, said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation recorded a relatively strong increase, accelerated to 15.6 percent in May from 13. 7 percent in April, its highest in six years, since February 2010.

The continuous hike in annual inflation has been said to have deepened the crisis of Africa’s biggest economy, with the headline index increased by 15.6 percent (year-on-year), roughly 14.9 percent from 13.7 percent recorded in April.

According to a current data obtained by Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN) on Tuesday from the official website of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the acceleration in the inflation reading was the fourth consecutive month. The NBS said it reflected higher prices for electricity, transport and food.

“The increase in rates in May relative to April reflects an overall increase in general price level across the economy as all divisions which contribute to the Headline Index increased at a faster pace in May.

“Year on year, electricity rates as well as other energy prices continue to manifest as key drivers of the Core component of the CPI”, NBS stated.

The statistics office in its monthly report said that the Core sub-index increased to 15.1 percent in May, up by 1.7 percent points from rates recorded in the previous month.

“During the month, the highest increases were seen in the passenger transport by road, Liquid Fuel (kerosene), fuels and Lubricants for Personal Transport Equipment (Premium Motor Spirit) and Vehicle Spare Part groups,’’ it said.

The report further stated that imported foods as well as a drawdown of inventories across the country continued to push food prices higher.

It said that the Food Sub-Index increased to 14.9 percent in May, up by 1.7 percent points from rates recorded in April.

The report said that the food sub-index increased as all major food groups which contributed to the food sub-index increased at a faster pace.

“This is driven by higher food prices in fish, bread and cereals, and vegetables groups for the second consecutive month.

“In addition, the Imported Food Sub-Index increased by 18.6 per cent in May, compared to 2.2 per cent points from rates recorded in April,’’ it said.

Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele announced on May 24 that the naira’s peg to the dollar would be abandoned in favour of a flexible currency regime but has yet to give details of how the policy will work.

The bank’s de facto peg of 197 naira per dollar had become unsustainable due to a shortage of hard currency, with the naira trading at up to 40 percent above the official rate in the black market.

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