The rate at which prices of goods and services rise in the country is on the decline as the Consumer Price Index dropped for the 13th consecutive month to 14.33 per cent in February on the back of lower food inflation, moving closer to the single digit target. Food inflation which had risen to 18.92 per cent in January slowed to 17.59 per cent in February according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for February released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday. Analysts say they expect inflation to drop to single digit this year before it picks up again on the back of rising election spending. The NBS report showed that inflation was 14.33 per cent year on year in February, moderating from 15.13 per cent in January.
This 13th consecutive disinflation since January 2017 is 0.8 percent points less than the rate recorded in January 2018 (15.13) percent. On a month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased by 0.79 percent in February 2018, down by 0.01 percent points from the rate recorded in January. Food inflation rose by 17.59 per cent, lower than the 18.92 per cent recorded in January. Meanwhile, similar to the previous month, the highest increase was recorded in the prices of bread and cereals, vegetables, potatoes, yam and other tubers, coffee, tea and cocoa, milk, cheese and eggs, and fish. Also, on month on month basis, food inflation increased at a slower pace of 0.85 per cent, compared to the 0.87 per cent recorded in the previous month.
Core inflation was 11.7 per cent year on year during the review period, compared to 12.10 per cent in January. The highest increases were reported in the prices of fuel and lubricants for personal transport and transport equipment, vehicle spare parts, narcotics, clearing, hospital services, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, repair and hire of clothing, and passenger travel by air. On a month on month basis, the core index increased at a faster pace of 0.75 per cent, seven basis points above the 0.68 per cent reported in January. According to the NBS, the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve month period ending February 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve month period was 15.93 percent, showing 0.29 percent point lower from 16.22 percent recorded in January 2018. Price movements recorded by All Items less farm produce or Core subindex increased by 11.7 percent (yearon-year) in February 2018, down by 0.4 percent points from the rate recorded in January (12.10) percent.
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