The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation increased to 15.92 per cent (Year on year) in March 2022, compared to 18.17 per cent in March 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said. This is the highest level that inflation had attained since October 2021, when it was recorded at 15.99 per cent before dropping to 15.40 per cent in November, 15.63 per cent in December, 15.60 per cent in January and 15.70 per cent February. Month-on-month, the headline index increased by 0.11 per cent to 1.74 per cent in March when compared to 1.63 per cent in February. The TCPI figures for March showed that on annual comparison, the headline index slowed down in March 2022 when compared to the same month in the previous year while on month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased to 1.99 per cent in March, up by 0.12 per cent from 1.87 per cent in February.
NBS stated further that month-on-month, food inflation was highest in Anambra with 3.78 per cent, followed by Niger with 3.60 per cent and Zamfara 3.31 per cent in the month under review. On the other hand, Oyo recorded the slowest rise on with -0.19 per cent followed by Jigawa and Ekiti with -0.10 per cent and 0.41 per cent, respectively. On the other hand, countrywide, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, yam, food product, potatoes, fish, meat, oils and fats, among others. The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending March 2022 over the previous 12-month average was 19.21 per cent or 0.48 per cent decrease from the 19.69 per cent recorded in February. Month-on-month, the core sub-index stood at 0.98 per cent in March, down by 0.35 per cent compared to 1.33 per cent in February.
NBS added that highest increases were recorded in prices of gas, garments, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, shoes and other foot wear, clothing materials, other articles of clothing and clothing accessories, liquid fuel, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment and other services in respect of personal transport equipment. Year-on-year, the core index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce rose to 13.91 per cent in March 2022, up by 1.24 per cent when compared to 12.67 per cent in March the previous year. In addition, the urban inflation rate also rose month-on-month to 1.76 per cent in March 2022, up by 0.11 per cent when compared to 1.65 per cent in February. The rural index rose to 1.73 per cent in March, an increase of 0.12 per cent from 1.61 per cent in February. Year-on-year, urban inflation increased to 16.44 per cent in March, showing a decline of 2.32 per cent compared to 18.76 per cent in 2021, just as rural inflation stood at 15.42 per cent in March compared to 17.60 per cent in March last year.