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Why December inflationary trend jumped to 18.55%—–IMF

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Just as the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) weekend disclosed that the inflationary trend in the country is still looking up having risen to 18.55 per cent in December 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has given explanation for the confusion, saying the Federal Government failed to introduce controlling policy according to time and strategy specification given to the economic team a year ago.

Latest figures released by the NBS showed that December rate of inflation was higher than that of November 2016 by 0.07%. The November inflation number was 18.48%.

It also showed that there was cross cutting price increase in all divisions and sectors nationwide, just as it said prices in communications and restaurant, hotels and hospitality sector recorded slowest pace of growth within the period under review.

It would be recalled that Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, met with leaders of both monetary and fiscal policy team including Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance; Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and President Muhammadu Buhari and advised for policy adjustments.

But from the latest report of the IMF, the apex bank’s efforts to save the naira by rationing foreign exchange have gradually crumbled thereby soaring inflationary trend to record high last month.

NBS also noted that the Food Index rose by 17.39 % (year-on-year) in December 2016, up by 0.20% points from rate recorded in November (17.19%). It stated also that during the month, all major food sub indexes increased, with Soft drinks recording the slowest pace of increase at 7.66 percent (year on year).

On a month-on-month basis, the Headline index rose by 1.06% in December, higher from the rate recorded in November (0.78%).

But NBS maintained that price movements recorded by all items less farm produce or Core sub index rose by 18.10% (year-on-year) in December, down by 0.10% points from rate recorded in November (18.20%.

Just like pervious months, the highest increases were seen in Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other household consumable fuels, Clothing and Footwear, as well as Education, growing at 27.27%, 21.62% and 17.84% respectively.

Experts say the government must work hard to reverse the trend before it hits 20 per cent by second quarter.


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