Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Nigeria's Inflation Rate Drops For 14th Consecutive Time

Nigeria's Inflation Rate Drops For 14th Consecutive Time

Consumer food prices rose 2.81 per cent in March, compared with 3.26 per cent in February, as prices of pulses fell more than 13.4 per cent from a year earlier.

Nigeria emerged from its first recession in 25 years in 2017 but growth remains fragile, although higher oil prices and debt sales over the past few months have helped the continent's biggest crude producer to accrue billions of dollars in foreign reserves.

Food price inflation for rural areas stood at 3.63 per cent in March 2018 against 3.70 per cent in February and 1.85 per cent in March 2017.

Housing inflation remained nearly flat at 8.31 per cent in March as compared to 8.28 per cent a month ago, while fuel inflation, which has seen an uptick since July, eased at 5.73 per cent in March from 6.80 per cent in February.

Last week, the RBI lowered its April-September retail inflation projection to 4.7 per cent to 5.1 per cent, from a previous range of 5.1 per cent to 5.6 per cent released in February.

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However, growth momentum was curtailed as industrial output slowed down by 7.1 percent in February, Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed today.

In February, the annual inflation rate went up to 4.72%, from 4.32% the month before.

Inflation dipped from 14.33 percent in February.

Within the IIP, manufacturing grew by 8.7 per cent in February, marginally higher than 8.6 per cent in January, with 15 of the 23 industry groups showing positive growth.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP), meanwhile, stood at 7.1% in February.

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At present, ICRA expects the CPI inflation to chart an uptrend in the ongoing quarter to around 5.3 per cent in June, before recording a base-effect led easing in the subsequent months.

"In response to the comfortable inflationary position, the Monetary Policy Committee maintained status quo albeit turning hawkish".

Consumer price inflation in the country, based on the consumer price index (CPI), eased further to 4.28 per cent in March 2018 from 4.44 per cent in February after remaining above the 5.00 per cent levels in January and December a year ago.

Others concur. "While the growth of capital goods output has surged in recent months, the year-to-date growth remains moderate at 5.3 per cent".

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