The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released its Consumer Price Index and Inflation Report for March 2023, revealing that Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 22.04% on a year-on-year basis. This represents a 0.13% point rise compared to the previous month of February 2023, which had a rate of 21.91%.
The report, released in Abuja on Monday, also highlighted that the headline inflation rate in March 2023 was 6.13% higher than the rate recorded in March 2022, which was 15.92%.
The increase in the headline inflation rate was largely driven by the rise in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which contributed 11.42% to the overall increase in the consumer price index. Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel also contributed significantly, accounting for 3.69% of the increase.
Other items that contributed to the rise in inflation were clothing and footwear at 0.69%, transport at 1.43%, furnishings, household equipment, and maintenance at 1.11%, education at 0.87%, and health at 0.66%. Miscellaneous goods and services, restaurant and hotels, alcoholic beverage, tobacco and kola, recreation and culture, and communication also contributed to the overall inflation rate, albeit to a lesser extent.
On a month-on-month basis, the All-Items Index, which measures the average change in prices of goods and services in a given month, increased by 1.86% in March 2023, compared to 1.71% in February 2023. This indicates that, on average, the general price level was 0.15% higher in March 2023 relative to February 2023.
The 12-month average Consumer Price Index for the period ending March 2023 was 20.37%, which represents a 3.83% increase compared to the previous year’s average of 16.54% for March 2022.
The report also highlighted that food inflation rate in March 2023 was 24.45% on a year-on-year basis, representing a 7.25% increase compared to the rate recorded in March 2022. The rise in food inflation was largely driven by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yams and other tubers, oil and fat, fish, vegetables, fruits, meat, and spirits. On a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in March 2023 increased by 2.07% compared to February 2023, which had a rate of 1.90%.
The “All items less farm produce” or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood at 19.86% in March 2023 on a year-on-year basis, representing a 5.94% increase compared to March 2022. On a month-on-month basis, the core inflation rate was 1.84% in March 2023, which was a 0.78% increase compared to February 2023.
The report also highlighted that the highest increases in prices were recorded in items such as gas, passenger transport by air, liquid fuel, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, and vehicle spare parts. Other items that experienced significant price increases were maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, solid fuel, medical services, and passenger transport by road, among others.