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Nigeria’s inflation hits 15.75 percent, highest in three years

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Nigeria’s inflation rate has hit 15.75 percent (year-on-year), indicating a 0.86 percent increase from 14.89 percent in November.

According to a report released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), covering December 2020, the rise shows a 32 month high, the highest rate recorded in three years. In the report published on the bureau’s website, the index increased to 1.61 percent in December from 1.60 percent recorded in November 2020, thus indicating a 0.01 percent point increase on a month-on-month basis. The report noted that food prices pushed the food index higher by 19.56 percent while core inflation inched up by 0.32 percent to 11.37 percent in the month under review.

Similarly, urban inflation also rose by 16.33 percent year-on-year, while the rural inflation rate stood at 15.20 percent. Average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending December 2020 over the previous 12-month average was 16.17 percent, 0.42 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2020 (15.75) percent.

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This rise in the food index was hinged on increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fruits, vegetable, fish, oils and fats. The spike beats the expectations of analysts who had projected an increase to 15.4 percent, largely driven by forex rationing, output and productivity constraints, higher logistics and distribution costs. The worst hit states include Bauchi, which recorded the highest inflation rate at 19.85 percent in the month of December 2020, followed by Kogi with an inflation of 18.4. Others include Edo (18.1), Zamfara (17.9), and Sokoto (17.6)

In terms of food inflation, Edo also recorded the highest rise in inflation with 24.1 percent, followed by Kogi (23.16), Sokoto (22.2); while Kwara and Zamfara States recorded food inflation of 22.1 and 21.7 percent respectively.

Experts also expressed worry that Nigerians could be faced with new worries if the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic leads to a second round of lockdown in the country.

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