Nigeria: Inflation hits over three-year high in February
Consumer prices rose 1.54% month-on-month in February, up from January’s 1.49% increase. The print reflected a stronger rise in food prices.
Inflation rose to 17.3% in February from 16.5% in January, marking the strongest annual rise in prices since May 2017. Meanwhile, the trend pointed up as annual average inflation came in at 14.1% in February from 13.6% in January. Moreover, core consumer prices, which exclude volatile agricultural produce, rose 1.2% month-on-month in February (January: 1.3%), and core inflation rose to 12.4% in February from 11.9% in the prior month.
Jacques Nel, head of Africa macro at Oxford Economics, commented:
“Price pressures are expected to increase further in coming months, with inflation projected to average around 16.4% this year. This will put pressure on many households that are already struggling with a surge in unemployment. While food prices have been the primary source of inflationary pressure in recent months, we could see higher imported inflation extend to other product categories if, as we expect, the central bank is forced to loosen its grip on the naira as the year progresses.”