The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the rate of change in prices of goods and commodities sustained its upward trajectory to 22.04 per cent in March compared to 21.91 per cent in the preceding month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday.
The NBS in its CPI report for March attributed the 0.13 percentage point increase in the headline index to the rise in the prices of food and commodities.Year-on-year, the inflation rate was 6.13 per cent higher compared to 15.92 per cent in March 2022.
The report showed that food inflation rose to 24.45 per cent year-on-year, which was 7.25 per cent higher than the 17.20 per cent recorded in March 2022.
The food inflation was attributed to increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, fruits, meat, vegetables, and spirits.On a month-on-month basis, the food index increased to 2.07 per cent, which was 0.16per cent higher compared to 1.90 per cent in February.
The average annual rate of food inflation for the 12 months ending March 2023 over the previous 12 months’ average was 22.72 per cent, which was a 3.50 per cent increase from the 19.21 per cent average annual rate of change recorded in March 2022.On the other hand, core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, increased to 19.86 per cent year-on-year, up by 5.94 per cent when compared to the 13.91 per cent recorded in March 2022.
According to the statistical agency, the highest increases were recorded in prices of gas, passenger transport by air, liquid fuel, fuels, and lubricants for personal transport equipment, vehicles spare parts, maintenance, and repair of personal transport equipment, medical services, passenger transport by road, among others. Month-on-month basis, core inflation rose to 1.84 per cent up by 0.78 per cent from 1.06 per cent in February.The average 12 monthly annual inflation rate was 17.41 per cent for the 12 months ending March 2023, which was 3.85 per cent higher than the 13.56 per cent recorded in March 2022.
Urban inflation’s year-on-year increased to 23.07 per cent, which was 6.63 per cent higher compared to the 16.44 per cent recorded in March 2022 while month-on-month, the urban inflation rate was 2 per cent in March, representing a 0.15 per cent increase compared to 1.85 per cent in February.Similarly, the rural inflation rate year-on-year rose to 21.09 per cent, which was 5.67 per cent higher than the 15.42 per cent recorded in March 2022 while on a month-on-month basis, the rural index was 1.72 per cent, up by 0.14 per cent, compared to 1.58 per cent in February.
On the state level, however, general inflation year-on-year was highest in Ondo (25.38 per cent), Bayelsa (24.80 per cent), Lagos (24.66 per cent), while Borno (19.18 per cent), Cross River/Sokoto (19.24 per cent) and Benue (20.01 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline inflation.On a month-on-month basis, the highest increases in were recorded in Bayelsa (2.58 per cent); Nasarawa (2.54 per cent); Lagos (2.41 per cent); while Anambra (1.03 per cent); Ebonyi (1.14 per cent); and Zamfara (1.27 per cent) recorded the slowest rise.
On the other hand, food inflation year-on-year was highest in Kwara, (28.84 per cent); Ondo (28.22 per cent); and Lagos (27.92 per cent); while Sokoto (18.99 per cent); Zamfara (20.57 per cent); and Plateau (21.38 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in the food index.On month-on-month, food inflation was highest in Bayelsa (3.11 per cent), Rivers (3.00 per cent), and Ondo (2.98 per cent), while Bauchi (1.03 per cent), Zamfara (1.08 per cent); and Ogun (1.13 per cent) recorded the slowest rise.