By NKIRUKA NNOROM
The nation’s inflation rate declined by 0.1 from the 12.9 per cent in June to 12.8 in July, according to the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The figures are contained in a statement issued by Dr Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation, on Friday in Abuja. It said that the monthly change in the composite Consumer Price Index (CPI) was due to persistent change in the prices of some item classes such as oils and fats, and gas.
Others are bread, cereals, meats, fish, fruits and other farm produce. It said that the change was also due to the prices of other items with relatively smaller weights in the index, such as repairs of household appliances, catering services and other miscellaneous services. The urban inflation rate stood at 15.6 per cent in July as against 15.0 per cent recorded in June. The statement said that the rural inflation rate was 10.7 per cent for July, while the June figure stood at 11.4 per cent.
“In July, the Composite Food Index increased year-on-year by 12.1 per cent to 138.1 points. The index was also higher than levels recorded in June of this year by 0.3 percent. The appreciation in the Food Index was as a result of an increase in the price of oils and fats, vegetables, soft drinks, as well as fruit classes. The latter being a key dietary component during the traditional break of the fast during the period of Ramadan.
“Also, prices of wheat, flour, and associated by-products partially contributed to the rise in the food index. This came as the import duty on wheat grains and flour increased effectively by 20 per cent and 100 per cent respectively in July,” the statement said. It said that the average annual rate of rise of the index was 11.0 per cent year-on-year for the 12-month period ending July.
The statement said that the “all items less farm produce” index, which excluded the prices of volatile agricultural products rose by 15 per cent year-on-year. On month-on-month basis, the core index increased by 0.1 per cent in July 2012. The marginal rise in the core index is partly attributable to higher price of gas, and other services such as household repairs, catering, and household textiles. The average 12 month annual rate of rise of the index was 13.0 per cent for the 12-month period ending July 2012,” it stated.
According to the bureau, pricing and weighting were the two basic parameters used to arrive at the CPI. It added that 10,534 officers were used to collate the data for the CPI monthly, while 740 product specifications were priced across the rural and urban areas of the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
The statement said that the average price of each item was computed for each sector for each state and the FCT and used for index computation.