For the 13th consecutive month since January 2017, Consumer Price Index, CPI, dropped to about 15.13 per cent in January 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, said in its latest Inflation Report.
The rate was about 15.37 per cent in December 2017, from about 18.72 per cent in January 2017.
CPI measures the composite changes in the price of consumer goods and services purchased by households, such as transportation, food and medical care, over a period.
On a monthly basis, the NBS said CPI in January 2018 dropped by 0.24 per cent points from the rate recorded in December (15.37 per cent).
Increases were recorded in all 12 Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose, COICOP, functions that yield the Headline Index used in the report.
On a month-on-month basis, the NBS said the Headline index increased by 0.80 per cent in January 2018, or about 0.21 per cent points higher from the rate of 0.59 per cent recorded in December 2017.
The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending January 2018 over the average of the CPI for the corresponding period was 16.22 per cent, or about 0.28 per cent point lower from 16.50 per cent in December 2017.
The NBS said urban inflation rate rose by 15.56 per cent in January 2018 from 16.78 per cent in December 2017, compared with the rural inflation rate, which declined by 14.76 per cent in January 2018 from 15.02 per cent in December 2017.
On a monthly basis, the urban index rose to 0.83 per cent in January 2018, up by 0.17 from 0.66 per cent recorded in December 2017, while the rural index also rose to 0.77 per cent in January 2018, up by 0.23 points when compared with 0.54 per cent in December 2017.
The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index stood at about 16.55 per cent in January 2018. This is less than 16.92 per cent reported in December 2017, compared with the corresponding rural inflation rate in January 2018 which dropped to about 15.89 percent from about 16.10 per cent recorded in December 2017.
The report said the annual food price index and food price pressure continued into December though generally at a slower pace year-on-year.
The Food Index stood at about 18.92 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2017, down from the rate recorded in December (19.42 percent).
The implication is that Nigerian consumers were paying less for food during the month than they did in the previous month.
On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index was about 0.87 per cent in January 2018, down by 0.29 per cent from 0.58 per cent recorded in December.
The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending January 2018 over the previous 12-month averaged 19.62 per cent, or 0.07 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in December 2017 (19.55) per cent.
The report noted that the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of imported food in general as well as bread and cereals, milk, cheese and eggs, vegetables, fish, coffee tea and cocoa, meat, potatoes yam and other tubers and oil and fats.
The “All Items Less Farm Produce” or Core sub-index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural goods, stood at 12.10 per cent points during the month of January 2018, similar to rate recorded in December 2017.
On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.68 per cent in January 2018 was higher from 0.51 per cent recorded in December.
The average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 13.01 per cent for the 12-month period ending January 2018. This is 0.45 per cent points lower than 13.46 per cent recorded in December 2017.
The highest increases were recorded in prices of fuel and lubricants for personal transport and transport equipment, vehicle spare parts, accommodation services, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, appliances articles and products for personal care.
Other services include hotels and restaurants, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, clothing materials and other articles of clothing, garments, non-durable household goods and solid fuels.