• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Four Things to note from February inflation data

Why Africa must prioritise economic growth over tackling inflation -IMF

Nigeria’s Consumer Price Index, (CPI) which measures inflation rose for the sixth straight month to a 22 month-high of 12.20 percent (year-on-year) in February 2020, 0.07 percent points more than it stood in January.

The increase came after the new VAT rate of 7.5 percent came into effect in the month.

Food index rose to 14.9 percent on an annual basis in February from 14.85 percent in January.

Food pressure is easing

 The rate of change in food inflation, which stood at 14.9 percent, was the weakest since the border closure in August of 2019, with annual food inflation rising by 0.06 percent points in February compared to an average increase of 0.29 percentage points since September last year.

On a monthly basis, food inflation rose by 0.87 percent, the least in exactly one year.

Health Inflation is on the rise

Price of health items and services tracked by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), rose 9.94 percent on an annual basis in February, the fastest since July 2018 when it rose by the same rate.

NBS tracks changes in the price level of Pharmaceutical Services, Medical Services, Dental Services, Paramedical Services and Hospital Services.

On a month-on-month basis health inflation fell to a 5-month low of 0.8 percent, the same rate it rose by in October last year.

Bauchi maintain highest inflation, Kwara least

Consumer price rose by 14.47 percent year-on-year in Bauchi, the most among the 36 states including Abuja for February.

Annual inflation for the state stood at 15.88 percent in January.

Niger took Sokoto to see second-highest inflation rate nationwide at 14.06 percent while Plateau, Sokoto, Kano saw inflation print at 13.98 percent, 13.96 percent and 13.86 percent each.

On the other hand, states with the lowest rate are Kwara (9.59%), Abuja (9.68%), Borno (10.46%), Bayelsa (10.83%), and Imo (10.85%).

Devaluation pose risk to price stability:

A currency devaluation if implemented could add pressure to price levels, analysts at Lagos-based Cordros Capital said in a note to clients in which they estimated that a 10 percent devaluation would move the naira closer to its fair value.

“We expect inflation to hit 15.89 percent in December, and average 13.21 percent over 2020,” the analysts said.