Inflation fell to 17.26% in March – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday released the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation rate, with the index dropping year-on-year from 17.78 per cent in February to 17.26 per cent in March.

Apart from the inflation report, the NBS also released five others. They are the cooking gas price watch, Premium Motor Spirit price watch, kerosene price watch, diesel price watch and transport fare watch.

The 0.52 percentage point drop in inflation is a relief to consumers as this is the second consecutive time in 15 months that the country will see a reduction in the price index.

The NBS attributed the decline in inflation rate to the early effects of the strengthening naira in the foreign exchange market, which has assisted in stabilising prices.

It said, “On a headline basis, the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, increased by 17.26 per cent (year-on-year) albeit at a slower pace in March 2017, 0.52 per cent points lower from the rate recorded in February (17.78) per cent.

“This is the second consecutive month of a decline in the headline CPI on a year-on-year basis, representing the effects of stabilising prices in already high food and non-food prices as well as favourable base effects over 2016 price.

“It is also indicative of early effects of a strengthened naira in the foreign exchange rate market.”

However, the report stated that while the overall pace of inflation increase was slower, the rate of the increase in housing, water, electricity, gas, other fuels, education, food and alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear, as well as transportation services was accelerated.

On a month-on-month basis, the NBS report stated that the headline index increased to 1.72 per cent in March, 0.23 per cent points higher from the rate recorded in February.

It added that the urban index rose to 18.27 per cent year-on-year in March from 18.57 per cent recorded in February, while the rural index increased to 16.47 per cent from 16.98 per cent in the period under review.

On month-on-month basis, the report explained that urban index rose to 1.76 per cent in March from the 1.52 per cent recorded in February, while the rural index increased to 1.67 per cent from 1.47 per cent in February.

For the PMS, the bureau said the average price paid by consumers for petrol increased by 10.1 per cent year-on-year and decreased by 0.3 per cent month-on-month to N149.4 in March from N149.8 in February.

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