Nigeria’s inflation climbs further in May to 12.4% ~NBS
Nigeria’s annual inflation climbed to 12.4 percent in May from 12.34 percent in the previous month, for the ninth consecutive month, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Wednesday.
The rising inflationary trend was attributed to higher food and drug prices in the face of ravaging coronavirus pandemic in the country which has disrupted logistics and economic activities.
Inflation, which measures the cost of living peaked at its highest level in more than two years, data from the BS showed.
The month-on-month increases were recorded in the prices of pharmaceutical products, medical services, transport and associated services, reflecting the impact of coronavirus on the economy.
The NBS said that food inflation, which accounts for the bulk of the inflation basket, climbed to 15.04 percent in May, compared with 15.03 percent% in April. Food inflation has been in double digits for more than three years.
Nigeria has had more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 455 deaths. Most cases have been in urban areas, where the brunt of price increases has been felt, especially imported drugs and foodstuffs.
Rising inflation has caused yields on Treasury bills and bonds to turn negative, a major stumbling block for the central bank’s push to attract foreign inflows to support the naira and boost the economy.
Africa’s top oil exporter faces economic hardship from the coronavirus outbreak and sharp falls in crude prices, which have caused a steep decline in growth.
Nigeria’s government expects the economy to contract by as much as 8.9% this year.
Central bank Governor Emefiele has said that the economy could contract in the second and third quarters but recover in the fourth with the fiscal and monetary policy measures put in place by the authorities.