Nigeria’s inflation rate for March 2020 rose marginally by 0.06 percent higher than the 12.20 per cent rate recorded in February. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said this in its report released pasted on its website. According to the agency, “The consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 12.26 per cent, year-on-year, in March 2020. This is 0.06 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in February 2020 12.20 per cent. The lock down in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States and various major disruptions in normal economic activity in several States since then, started in April 2020 and accordingly would not have any major impact on March 2020 Inflation which this report focusses on. Increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the Headline index. On month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 0.84 percent in March 2020. This is 0.05 percent higher than the rate recorded in February 2020 (0.79 percent).
Similarly, the composite food index rose to 14.98 per cent, largely driven by increase in basic food prices. The ‘All items less farm produce,’ also known as core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood at 9.73 per cent in March 2020. This represents an increase of 0.3 per cent when compared with the 9.43 per cent recorded in February 2020. The urban inflation rate also rose to 12.93 per cent, while the rural inflation rate moved up to 11.64 per cent, year-on-year in the previous month.
It noted several disruptions to normal economic activities in several other states which began in April but stated that they would not have any major impact on the March 2020 Inflation which the report focused on. “The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 12.15 per cent in March 2020 (this is higher than 12.03 per cent reported in February 2020), while the corresponding rural inflation rate in March 2020 was 11.14 per cent compared to 11.09 per cent recorded in February 2020,” the report read.
According to NBS “In March 2020, all items inflation on year on year basis was highest in Bauchi (15.55%), Niger (14.04%) and Kebbi (13.90%), while Lagos (10.82%), Abuja (10.19%) and Kwara (9.94%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation. On month on month basis however, March 2020 all items inflation was highest in Bayelsa (1.64%), Bauchi (1.63%) and Ondo (1.60%), while Kano (0.21%), Abia (0.17%), recorded the slowest rise on month on month inflation with Lagos recording price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level or negative inflation rate). In March 2020, food inflation on a year on year basis was highest in Sokoto (16.81%), Edo (16.63%) and Ogun(16.39%),while Jigawa(13.69%),Bauchi (13.40%)andLagos(13.06%) recorded the slow estrise. On month on month basis however, March 2020 food inflation was highest in Bayelsa (2.36%), Kogi (2.18%) and kebbi (2.17%), while Kano (0.22%), Cross River (0.09%) recorded the slowest rise on month on month inflation with Lagos recorded price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of food or a negative food inflation rate)”.