By Omolola Pedro
The measure for the rate of change in prices of goods and services, Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose from 21.91 per cent in February to 22.04 per cent in March 2023. This was contained in an inflation rate report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). According to the NBS report, “the March 2023 inflation rate showed an increase of 0.13 per cent points when compared to February 2023 headline inflation rate”.
“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 6.13 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2022 which was 15.92 per cent,” the report read. This shows that the inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in March 2023 when compared to the same month in the previous year of 2022. “However, on a month-on-month basis, the all-items index in March 2023 was 1.86 per cent, which was 0.15 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in February 2023 (1.71 per cent)”, NBS said.
According to the report, in March 2023, averagely, the general price level had a 0.15 per cent higher, when compared to February 2023. The Bureau also noted that food items and non-alcoholic beverages contributed largely to the increase. “The contributions of items on the divisional level to the increase in the headline index are food and non-alcoholic beverages (11.42 per cent); housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel (3.69 per cent). Clothing and footwear (1.69 per cent); transport (1.43 per cent); furnishings, household equipment and maintenance (1.11 per cent); education (0.87 per cent); health (0.66 per cent); miscellaneous goods and services (0.37 per cent); restaurant and hotels (0.27 per cent); alcoholic beverage, tobacco and kola (0.24 per cent); recreation and culture (0.15 per cent) and communication (0.15 per cent).”
Meanwhile, the NBS said food inflation in March 2023 rose to 24.45 per cent on a year-on-year basis – representing a 7.25 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2022. The NBS explained further that the rise was caused by increases in the prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, yam, potatoes and other tubers. Fish, fruits, meat, vegetables, and spirits prices were also cited. The agency, however, noted that on a state profile, Sokoto, Plateau and Zamfara residents paid less for food in the period under review, while Ondo, Kwara, and Lagos states residents paid more.
“In March 2023, food inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kwara (28.84 per cent), Ondo (28.22 per cent), and Lagos (27.92 per cent)”, the report further stated. Sokoto (18.99 per cent), Zamfara (20.57 per cent) and Plateau (21.38 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis. On a month-on-month basis, March 2023 food inflation was highest in Bayelsa (3.11 per cent), Rivers (3.00 per cent), and Ondo (2.98 per cent), while Bauchi (1.03 per cent), Zamfara (1.08 per cent), and Ogun (1.13 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in food inflation”.