The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) just released the following inflation date
In March, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation rose by 8.5 percent (year-on-year), marginally higher from the 8.4 percent rate recorded in February. This is the fourth consecutive month of a faster increase in the Headline index to reach the highest inflation rate recorded for the year.
The Headline rate for March also equals last year’s high recorded in August. While the pace of increase in food prices held firm for the second consecutive month, the faster increase in the Headline index was driven by increases in the non-food COICOP divisions. This was also reflected in the Core sub-index.
Why the increase?
In March, the pace of price increases recorded by the Food sub-index (yearon-year) firmed at 9.4 percent for the second consecutive month. On a month-on-month basis, food prices increased at a faster rate in March relative to February. Food prices increased by 1.0 percent, up by 0.3 percentage points from rates recorded in February. The rate recorded in March also mirrors price increases recoded during the period last year. Price increases were recorded across all groups that contribute to the Food sub-index
On a month-on-month basis, the highest price increases were recorded in the Fruit, Fish, Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers, and Vegetables groups. The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending in March 2015 over the previous twelve month average was 9.5 percent. The twelve month rate of change has held steady for ten consecutive months.
All other items except food
The pace of increases in the “All items less Farm Produce” or Core index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce increased at a faster pace for the third consecutive month. Prices rose by 7.5 percent (year-on-year), up by 0.5 percentage points from 7.0 percent in February with the strongest increases recorded in the Clothing and Footwear, and Miscellaneous Goods & Services divisions
On a month-on-month basis, the Core Sub-index increased marginally by 0.8 percent after increasing at the same pace for previous two months at 0.7 percent. The largest increases were recorded in the Passenger transport by Air, Miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling; Appliances, Articles and Products for Personal Care, and Repair of Household Appliances groups amongst others. The average 12 month annual rate of rise of the index was recorded at 6.9 percent for the twelve-month period ending in March 2015, unchanged from the 12 month rate recorded in January.
Food prices as observed by the Food Sub-index increased at relatively the same pace in March as in February; by 9.4 percent. The pace of increases was weighted upon by a slower increase in the Bread and Cereals, Oils and Fats, Dairy and Confectionary groups. Faster increases were observed in all other groups which contribute to the Food sub-index.