The cost of food gets worse as food inflation skyrockets to 32.84%

The rise in food inflation to 32.84 percent in November has made it harder for Nigerians to feed themselves.

The National Bureau of Statistics' Consumer Price Index: November 2023 data, made public on Friday, shows headline inflation rose to 28.20 percent in November from 27.33 percent in October.

Kogi, Kwara and Rivers states saw the largest increases in food prices, with food inflation reaching 41.29 percent, 40.72 percent and 40.22 percent respectively.

According to the survey, rising costs for bread and grains, oil and fat, potatoes, yams and other tubers, fish, fruits, meat, vegetables, coffee, tea and cocoa were the main causes of the increase in food prices.

The NBS said: “On a monthly basis, food inflation stood at 2.42 percent in November 2023, which was 0.51 percent higher compared to the inflation rate in October 2023 (1.91 percent).

“The average annual food inflation for the twelve months ending November 2023 over the previous twelve-month average was 27.09 percent, which was an increase of 6.68 percentage points over the average annual rate of change recorded in November 2022 (20 .41 percent). ).”

It further noted that food was cheapest in Bauchi (26.14 percent), Borno (27.34 percent) and Jigawa (27.63 percent).

In November, Nigerian inflation continued to rise to a new 18-year high. According to the country's statistics agency, headline inflation rose 0.87 percentage points in November, reaching a new high in almost two decades.

It stated: “In November 2023, headline inflation rose to 28.20 percent, compared to October 2023 headline inflation, which was 27.33 percent. Looking at the movement, the November 2023 headline inflation shows an increase of 0.87 percentage points compared to the October 2023 headline inflation.

“On an annual basis, the overall inflation rate was 6.73 percentage points higher compared to the November 2022 rate, which was 21.47 percent. This shows that headline inflation (year-on-year) increased in November 2023 compared to the same month in the previous year (i.e. November 2022).”

Total monthly inflation was 2.09 percent last month, 0.35 percentage points higher than October's 1.73 percent, mainly due to the spike in food prices. This defies the Central Bank of Nigeria's recent claim that monthly inflation is declining.

Isa AbdulMumin, the former director of the apex bank's corporate communications department, recently claimed:

“Available statistics show that the first indication of price decline was recorded in September.

“Further money market reforms, which started in October, had accelerated the easing of prices, as evidenced by the substantial decline in month-on-month changes recorded in October.

“The moderation of month-on-month changes in prices observed in headlines, food and core components of the consumer basket followed reforms in the money market and relative stability in the foreign exchange market.”

The highest inflation rates were found in Borno (22.47 percent), Katsina (24.91 percent) and Plateau (25.53 percent), while the lowest inflation rates were found in Kogi (33.28 percent), Lagos (32.30 percent) and Rivers (32.25 percent). %).

The recent spike in inflation in the country has been attributed to the withdrawal of fuel subsidies and the exchange rate unification strategy.

It noted: “The impact of this inflation is particularly hard on the poor and vulnerable. The government has initiated targeted cash transfers to soften some of the impact on the most vulnerable households.

“Moreover, a holistic approach is also needed to reduce inflation, including through tighter fiscal and monetary policies.”

The bank pointed out that the country's slow development and growing inflation caused poverty to rise from 40% in 2018 to 46% in 2023, pushing another 24 million people below the poverty line.

In 2023, there will be 104 million poor people in the country, compared to 79 million in 2018.

However, the report pointed out that medium-term reforms (fuel subsidies and exchange rate unification) would counter this trend by promoting faster growth and lower inflation.

However, the Bretton Woods Institute predicted that if monetary policy were tightened more quickly, inflation would fall in 2024 and beyond.

CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso recently stated that the central bank plans to focus on inflation and stabilize prices.

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