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Inflation Rose to 33.20% in March – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed that Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 33.20 per cent in March 2024, up from 31.70 per cent in February 2024.

This represents a month-over-month increase of 1.50 per cent points in the headline inflation rate, according to recently released data by the NBS.

Year-over-year data shows a significant 11.16 per cent point rise in the headline inflation rate from March 2023, which was at 22.04 per cent.

This indicates a significant increase in the headline inflation rate for March 2024 compared to the same month in the previous year.

In addition, the month-on-month headline inflation rate for March 2024 was 3.02 per cent, which is 0.10 per cent lower than the rate recorded in February 2024.

This suggests that the pace of the average price level increase in March 2024 was slower than the preceding month.

For the year ending in March 2024, the average Consumer Price Index increased by 27.13 per cent compared to the previous year, which was a rise of 6.76 per cent from the 20.37 per cent increase observed in March 2023.

The urban inflation rate in March 2024 reached 35.18 per cent, which was 12.11 per cent points higher than the 23.07 per cent rate from March 2023. Comparing month-to-month, urban inflation decreased slightly to 3.17 per cent in March 2024, down by 0.0001 percentage points from February 2024. The twelve-month average urban inflation rate as of March 2024 was 28.96 per cent, which was 7.96 percentage points higher than the 21.00 reported in March 2023.

Year-on-year, rural inflation stood at 31.45 per cent in March 2024, which was 10.37 per cent points higher than 21.09 from March 2023. On a month-to-month basis, rural inflation decreased to 2.87 per cent in March 2024, which was a 0.20 percentage point drop from February 2024. The average rural inflation rate for the twelve months ending in March 2024 was 25.50 per cent, up by 5.71 per cent points from 19.79 per cent in March 2023.

The annual food inflation rate was 40.01 per cent in March 2024, which was 15.56 percentages higher than the 24.45 per cent rate in March 2023.

The NBS attributed this increase to price hikes in items such as Garri, Millet, Akpu Uncooked Fermented (Bread and Cereals), Yam Tuber, Water Yam (Potatoes, Yam, and other Tubers), Dried Fish Sadine, Mudfish Dried (Fish), Palm Oil, Vegetable Oil (Oil and Fat), Beef Feet, Beef Head, Liver (Meat), Coconut, Water Melon (Fruit), Lipton Tea, Bournvita, Milo (Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa).

Month-to-month, food inflation fell to 3.62 per cent in March 2024, which was a 0.17 percentage point decrease from February 2024. This decline was due to reduced price growth rates for items like Guinea corn flour, Plantain Flour (Bread and Cereals), Yam, Irish Potato, Coco Yam (Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers), Titus fish, Mudfish Dried (Fish), Lipton, Bournvita, Ovaltine (Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa).

The average annual food inflation rate for the year ending in March 2024 was 31.40 per cent, which was an 8.69 percentage point increase from the 22.72 per cent rate in March 2023.

In March 2024, the core inflation rate, which was calculated by excluding volatile agricultural products and energy prices, reached 25.90 per cent on an annual basis. This represents a significant increase of 6.26 per cent from the 19.63 per cent rate recorded in March 2023. Notable price hikes were observed in urban bus fares, housing rentals, medical consultation fees, and pharmaceuticals, among others.

On a monthly comparison, Core Inflation rose to 2.54 per cent in March 2024, up from 2.17 per cent in February 2024, marking an increase of 0.37 per cent. The average annual inflation rate over the past twelve months culminated at 22.26 per cent as of March 2024, which was 5.04 per cent points higher than the rate seen in March 2023.

NBS noted that It is important to recognise that varying consumption patterns across different states and localities influence the Consumer Price Index.

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