Nigeria’s inflation rate has risen for the ninth consecutive months to 12.40 per cent in May from 12.34 per cent in April, a consumer price index report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
The hike in the inflation rate is coming on the heels of the country battling economic implication of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest inflation figure indicates the highest in 25 months, April 2018, when the CPI recorded was 12.48 per cent.
According to NBS, on month-on-month bases, the headline index increased by 1.17 per cent in May 2020, a 0.15per cent point higher compared to 1.02per cent recorded in April 2020.
Food inflation, a closely watched component of the inflation index rose by 15.04per cent (year-on-year) compared to 15.03per cent recorded in the previous month. A rise which was caused by increases recorded in process of Bread and cereals, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, oils and fats, fruits, fish, and meat.
Also, on a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.42 per cent in May 2020 from 1.18% recorded in April 2020, which indicates a 0.24 per cent rise.
Core inflation, the “All items less farm produce” or Core inflation which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 10.12 per cent in May 2020, up by 0.14 per cent points when compared to 9.98 per cent recorded in April 2020.
However, on a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index stood 0.88 per cent in May 2020. This was down by 0.05% point when compared to 0.93 per cent recorded in April 2020.
The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, medical services, repair of furniture, hospital services, passenger transport by road, motor car, bicycles, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, passenger transport by sea and inland waterways, paramedical services, motorcycles and hairdressing salons, and personal grooming establishment.
In May 2020, Rivers (14.69 per cent) states recorded the highest all-items inflation on a year-on-year basis, followed by Bauchi states, which recorded 14.31 per cent and Ebonyi state with 13.87 per cent. Kogi and Plateau state also recorded an inflation rate of 13.87 per cent in May 2020.
On the other hand, Kwara state recorded the lowest rate of 10.58 per cent, followed by Adamawa (11.1 per cent), Benue (11.13 per cent), Kaduna (11.28 per cent) and Enugu (11.4 per cent).
With respect to food inflation, Abuja recorded the highest with 18.13 per cent followed by Osun state with 17.4 per cent. Closely followed are Rivers, Imo with 17.19 per cent, and 17.13 per cent food inflation rate respectively.
The latest inflation report implies a fast rise in the prices of overall goods and services in the economy, caused by the partial restriction in trading activities across the country.
It should be noted that the latest increase in the inflation rate means that the purchasing power of consumers to buy goods and services deteriorated in May 2020 compared to the previous month. That is, the ability of consumers to buy the same quantity of goods with a fixed income level has worsened within the period.
The trend is feared to continue into the month of June as Nigeria still continues to grapple with the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic, even as the country embarks on phase two easing of lockdown.