The economic advisers to the Buhari administration may be interested in the latest report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which indicated that Nigerians especially the poor are suffering as a result of bitting cost of basic food items in the month of July.
For instance, the NBS report released on Monday indicated that the rate of inflation in the month of July rose from 18.6 per cent the previous month to 19.64 per cent in July, the highest in 17 years.
Specifically, the Bureau pointed out that food prices rose to it’s highest level in 14 months standing at 22.02 per cent in July 2022, representing a 1.42 per cent basic point increase compared to 20.6 per cent recorded in the previous month.
According to the Bureau, the national statistics coordinating agency in it’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), Nigeria’s inflation rate in the month of July 2022 rose to a 17-year high of 19.64 per cent, up from the 18.6 per cent recorded in the preceding month.
The last time Nigeria’s inflation was above 19.64 per cent was in September 2005 when it rose to 24.32 per cent.
The statistics agency attributed the jump in the inflation rate largely to spiral rate in the food and core index.
According to the NBS, the urban inflation rate rose by 2.08 per cent to 20.09 per cent in July 2022 from 18.01 per cent recorded in July 2021, while the rural inflation rate hit 19.22 per cent from 16.75 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2021.
The food inflation rose to its highest level in 14 months, standing at 22.02 per cent point in July 2022, representing a 1.42 per cent basic point increase compared to 20.6.per cent recorded in the previous month.
The Bureau further reported that on a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in July stood at 2.04 per cent, stood at 0.01 per cent lower than 2.05 per cent recorded in the previous month.
It attributed the rise in food inflation to increases in prices of bread and cereals, food products, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fish, oil, and fat.
The agency also disclosed that the average annual rate of food inflation for the twelve-month period ended July 2022 over the previous twelve-month average was 18.75 per cent, representing a 1.42 per cent points decline from the average annual rate of change recorded in July 2021 (20.16 per cent).
On ‘’All items less farm produce’’ or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce core inflation, the NBS reported that the rate rose to 16.26 per cent in the month under review, compared to 15.75 per cent recorded in the previous month.
The July rate also represents the highest core inflation rate since January 2017, when the rate stood at 17.8 per cent.
On a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 1.75 per cent in July, representing 0.20 per centpoints higher when compared to the 1.56 per cent recorded in June 2022.
Notably, the highest increases were recorded in prices of Gas, Liquid fuel, Solid fuel, Passenger transport by road, Passenger transport by Air, Garments, Cleaning, Repair and Hire of clothing.
A further analysis of the inflation rate on state by state basis showed that Akwa Ibom State recorded the highest inflation rate in the month under review with 22.88 per cent, closely followed by Ebonyi State with 22.51 per cent, Kogi (22.08 per ce. , Bayelsa (21.6 per cent, and Rivers State (21.37 per cent
In terms of food inflation rate, Kwara State recorded the highest with 29.28 per cent followed by Akwa Ibom State, (27.22 per cent; Kogi State, 26.08 per cent, while Ebonyi, and Ekiti State recorded 25.83 per cent and 24.78 per cent respectively