Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 13.22% in August 2020, highest recorded in 29 months, since March 2018 (13.24%). This was contained in the recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The latest figure is 0.40% points higher than the rate recorded in July 2020 (12.82%). while on a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 1.34% in August 2020.
Food inflation: A closely watched component of the inflation index, stood at 16% in August compared to 15.48% recorded in July 2020. On month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.67% in August 2020, up by 0.15% points from 1.52% recorded in July 2020.
This rise in the food index was attributed to increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers, Meat, Fish, Fruits, Oils and fats, and Vegetables.
Core inflation: This excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, also rose to 10.52% in August 2020. It is up by 0.42% points when compared with 10.1% recorded in July 2020. On month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 1.05% in August 2020. This was up by 0.30% points when compared with 0.75% recorded in July 2020.
What drove inflation: Inflation for the month of August was driven by recorded increase in prices of Passenger transport by air, Hospital services, Medical services, Pharmaceutical products, Maintenance, and Repair of personal transport equipment.
Others are Vehicle spare parts, Motor cars, Passenger transport by road, Repair of furniture, and Paramedical services.
Upshot: As Nigerians continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reopening of the economy, prices of commodities such as air transport, and medical services seems to have been affected due to policies implemented, with the aim of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
It is therefore evident that Nigerians are spending more, despite fixed income, contraction of economic activities, and dwindling rate of investment returns.