UPDATED: Nigeria consumer inflation falls slightly to 11.25 pct in March as analysts see new minimum wage bill spur inflation rise


LAGOS, April 16 – Nigeria’s consumer inflation stood at 11.25 percent in March, compared with 11.31 percent in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

A separate food price index showed inflation at 13.45 percent in March, compared with 13.47 percent in February.

In line with our expectation, March headline inflation rate further
moderated to 11.25% year-on-year (from 11.31% in February
2019), printing three consecutive months of decline. The sustained
moderation in annual inflation rate was chiefly driven by consistent
decrease in core inflation rate as it grew slower (on an annual basis,
to 9.46% from 9.80% and a monthly basis, to 0.53% from 0.65%).
This was partly driven by y-o-y fall in the costs of transport (-
0.18%), clothing & footwear (-0.08%) and energy cost (-0.05%).
Also, food inflation rate declined marginally to 13.45% y-o-y from
13.47% in February 2019. Food prices, especially in Ogun, Bauchi
and Edo States moderated y-o-y to 11.55%, 11.82% and 12.08%
in March 2019 respectively. However, the pressure on general price
level of food rose m-o-m to 0.88% (higher than 0.82% in February
2019), amid planting season which commenced in March. Also,
change in consumer price index for imported food rose m-o-m by
1.22% to 298.06 points from 294.48 points in February 2019,
despite monthly average appreciation of the Naira against USD in
most forex market segments (FX rate fell m-o-m by 0.78% to
N357.10/USD at the BDC market). In the same vein, Inflation rate
in the urban area dropped y-o-y to 11.54% (from 11.59%) as well
as in the rural area, to 10.99% (from 11.05%) in March 2019.
“We expect inflation rate to rise in the months of April, May and
June amid Easter and Ramadan festivities plus ongoing planting
season. Also, the eventual signing of the new minimum wage bill,
will also push headline inflation higher going forward”.

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