Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation rate, with the index dropping year-on-year from 18.72 per cent in January to 17.78 per cent in February.
Apart from the inflation report, the NBS also released four others. They are the cooking gas price watch, Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) price watch, kerosene price watch and the diesel price watch.
The drop by 0.94 percentage points in inflation is a relief to consumers as this is the first time in 15 months that the country will witness a reduction in the price index.
The report attributed the drop in the inflation rate to slow increases recorded in food prices and other divisions.
For instance, the bureau stated that while housing, electricity, gas and other fuels, education and alcoholic beverages, clothing and transportation services recorded accelerated price increases, soft drinks, coffee and cocoa moderated during the period.
The report read in part, “On a headline basis, the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, increased by 17.78 per cent (year-on-year) albeit at a slower pace in February 2017, 0.94 per cent points lower from the rate recorded in January (18.72) per cent.
“This represents the first time in 15 months that the headline CPI has declined on year-on-year basis, representing the effects of slower rises in already high food and non-food prices and favourable base effects over 2016 prices.
“The major divisions responsible for accelerating the pace of the increase in the headline index were housing, electricity, gas and other fuels, education and alcoholic beverage, clothing and transportation service.”
On a month-on-month basis, the NBS report stated that the headline index increased by 1.49 per cent in February, 0.48 percentage points higher from the rate of 1.01 recorded in January.
The report stated that the urban index rose by 18.57 per cent year-on-year in February from 20.31 per cent recorded in January, while the rural index increased by 16.98 per cent from 17.34 per cent in January.
On month-on-month basis, the report explained that the urban index rose by 1.52 per cent in February from 1.03 per cent recorded in January, while the rural index rose by 1.47 per cent in February from one per cent in the previous month.
In the cooking gas price watch report, the bureau said the average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder increased by 5.48 per cent month-on-month and 45.59 per cent year-on-year to N2,708.38 in February 2017 from N2,567.56 in January 2017.
It said the states with the highest average price for the refilling of a 5kg cylinder of cooking gas were Edo (N3,030), Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Zamfara, Rivers and Kebbi (N3,000), and Delta (N2,984.62).
In the PMS report, the bureau stated that the average price paid by consumers for petrol increased by 50.1 per cent year-on-year and 0.7 per cent month-on-month to N149.8 per litre in February from N148.7 in January.
For diesel, the report stated that the average price paid by consumers for the product increased by 3.68 per cent month-on-month and 68.74 per cent year-on-year to N249.38 in February from N240.52 the previous month.
In terms of kerosene, the NBS said the average price of the product paid by consumers increased by 31.34 per cent year-on-year to N352.42 per litre in February from N433.84 in January.
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