The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased to 15.92 per cent on a year-on-year basis in March 2022.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed this on Friday in its latest report titled ‘Consumer Price Index March 2022’.
It explained that the percentage reported was 2.25 per cent points lower compared to the 18.17 per cent rate recorded in March last year.
This means that the headline inflation rate slowed down in March 2022 when compared to the same month in the previous year, while increases were recorded in all Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the Headline index.
“On month-on-month basis, the Headline Index increased to 1.74 per cent in March 2022, this is 0.11 percent points higher than the rate recorded in February 2022 (1.63 per cent),” said the report. “The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending March 2022 over the average previous 12 months period is 16.54 per cent – this shows 0.19 per cent points decrease compared to 16.73 per cent recorded in February 2022.
“The Urban Inflation rate increased to 16.44 per cent year-on-year in March 2022, showing a decline of 2.32 per cent points from the rate recorded in March 2021 (18.76 per cent). In the same vein, the Rural Inflation increased to 15.42 per cent in March 2022 with a decrease of 2.18 per cent points from 17.60 per cent recorded in March 2021.
“On a month-on-month basis, the Urban Index rose to 1.76 per cent in March 2022 – this was up by 0.11 per cent points from the rate recorded in February 2022 (1.65 per cent). The Rural Index rose to 1.73 per cent in March 2022, with 0.12 per cent point increase from 1.61 per cent recorded in February 2022.”
Surging Food, Gas Prices
According to the NBS, the corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 17.10 per cent in March 2022.
It said the figure was lower than the 17.29 per cent reported in February 2022, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in March 2022 stood at 16.00 per cent compared to 16.18 per cent recorded in February 2022.
Similarly, the composite food index rose to 17.20 per cent in March 2022 compared to 22.95 per cent recorded in March the previous year.
The agency blamed the rise in the food index on increases in prices of bread and cereals, food products, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, meat, oil and fat.
“On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased to 1.99 per cent in March 2022 – this was up by 0.12 per cent points from 1.87 per cent points recorded in February 2022.
“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, 0.48 per cent points decrease from the average annual rate of change recorded in February 2022 (19.69 per cent).”
On the ‘all items less farm produce’ or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, NBS said 13.91 per cent was recorded in March 2022, up by 1.24 per cent points when compared to the 12.67 per cent recorded in March 2021.
The highest increases were recorded in prices of gas, garments, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, shoes and other footwears, 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.