Inflation drops for seventh consecutive months to 16.01%

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The National Bureau of Statistics on Friday released the Consumer Price Index report, which measures inflation, with the rate dropping year-on-year from 16.05 per cent in July to 16.01 per cent in August.

The bureau, in the report, which was made available to our correspondent, said August was the seventh consecutive month that the index would be declining since January this year.

On a month-on-month basis, the report stated that the headline index increased by 0.97 per cent in August, representing a 0.24 per cent point decline over 1.21 per cent recorded in June.

The report read in part, “The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, increased by 16.01 per cent (year-on-year) in August 2017. This was 0.04 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in July (16.05 per cent), making it the seventh consecutive decline in the rate of headline year-on-year inflation since January 2017.

“On a month-on-month basis, the Headline Index increased by 0.97 per cent in August 2017, 0.24 per cent points lower from the rate of 1.21 per cent recorded in June.”

The NBS report stated that food inflation increased to 20.25 per cent year-on-year in July, down marginally by 0.03 per cent points from the 20.28 per cent recorded in July.

On a month-on-month basis, the report said the food sub-index increased to 1.14 per cent in July, down by 0.38 percentage points from 1.52 per cent recorded in July.

Speaking on the drop in inflation rate, finance analysts attributed the decrease to various factors such as transparency in the foreign exchange market and intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria in ensuring liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

A former Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Rislanudeen Mohammed, told our correspondent in a telephone interview that while the intervention of the apex bank had reduced the level of core inflation, such success had not been recorded in the area of the food index.

He said that more work needed to be done in increasing food production as well as addressing the impediments to agricultural production.

Mohammed stated, “The pace of decline in the inflation rate is largely due to transparency in the management of the foreign exchange market as well as the recent interventions of the CBN in that segment of the market.

“But while the core inflation seems to be coming down due to the transparency in the forex market, the food index is still a source of concern and it calls for more attention in that area.”

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