Latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says consumer prices in Nigeria advanced 13.3 percent year-on-year in March of 2018, easing from a 14.3 percent gain in the previous month and below market consensus of a 14.5 percent rise. It was the lowest inflation rate since March of 2016, mainly due to a slowdown in prices of food and housing and utilities.
The inflation rate has been declining since reaching more than 12 year high of 18.7 percent in January of 2017.
Year-on-year, prices increased at a softer pace for food and non-alcoholic beverages (16.1 percent compared to 17.6 percent in February); housing and utilities (7.5 percent compared to 7.9 percent) and clothing and footwear (13.6 percent compared to 14.4 percent). Also, cost rose less for transport (11.9 percent compared to 12.3 percent); furnishings and household equipment (12.9 percent compared to 13.5 percent); education (10.4 percent compared to 10.6 percent) and health (11.3 percent compared to 11.5 percent). In addition, prices slowed for miscellaneous goods and services (11.5 percent compared to 12.1 percent); restaurants and hotels (11.0 percent compared to 11.1 percent); alcoholic beverages, tobacco and kola (8.8 percent compared to 8.9 percent) and recreation and culture (9.1 percent compared to 9.9 percent). On the other hand, cost advanced further for communication (4.5 percent compared to 4.3 percent).
Annual core inflation which excludes price of volatile agricultural products dropped to 11.3 percent, following a 11.7 percent gain in the prior month.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices remained unchanged, after increasing 0.8 percent in January.