Nigeria’s headline inflation defied widely projected increases in November, settling 0.2 percentage points lower to 7.9 percent as food showed a record three-year (34-month) drop to 9.1 percent while core steadied at 6.3 percent for the fourth consecutive month.
Following Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) last month’s official devaluation of the local currency and hike in interest rates, analysts had anticipated an immediate surge in inflation, especially the core component.
But contrary to these expectations, the pace of price increases observed by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation eased for the third consecutive month in November, National Bureau of Statistics confirmed.
“Prices rose by 7.9 percent (year-on-year), down by 0.2 percentage points from 8.1 percent recorded in October.
“The slower pace of price increases recorded by the Headline index was as a result of a slower rise in food prices as well as other divisions that yield the Headline index,” the Bureau stated in its latest Consumer Price report released on Sunday.
After peaking in August this year at 10 percent (year-on-year) the food index has continued to moderate.
NBS attributed this to the fact that the onset of the harvest season had helped to bring consumers a respite from higher food prices after food prices peaked in August.
Food index rose by 9.1 percent (year-on-year) in November, down by 0.2 percentage points lower from 9.3 percent recorded in October.
On a month-on-month basis, food prices increased by 0.6 percent in November, after reaching the year’s low in October.
Following the same trend observed in the Headline index, “this is the third consecutive month where advances in food prices have been relatively muted,” the NBS reported.
While the majority of groups that contribute to the food index declined, price increases were observed in the vegetables and coffee, tea and cocoa groups. Meats increased at roughly the same pace relative to October, according to the federal data office.
Price movements recorded by the core sub-index moved at roughly the same pace for the fourth consecutive month at 6.3 percent (year-on-year).
On a month-on-month basis, the pace of price increase has also been constant for a third consecutive month at 0.6 percent.