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Nigeria’s March consumer index report signals continuing price strain as inflation jumps 33.2%

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By Oludare Mayowa

In March 2024, Nigeria witnessed a further uptick in headline inflation, reaching 33.20%, compared to 31.70% in February 2024. This represents an increase of 1.50 percentage points month-on-month, highlighting sustained inflationary pressures.

Year-on-year, the headline inflation rate surged by 11.16 percentage points compared to March 2023, registering at 22.04%. This indicates a notable acceleration in price levels over the past year.

Analyzing the month-on-month dynamics, March 2024 saw a slight moderation in inflation, recording a rate of 3.02%, marginally lower than the 3.12% recorded in February 2024. This suggests a modest slowdown in the pace of price increases compared to the previous month.

Looking at the twelve-month period ending March 2024, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) witnessed a 27.13% increase over the previous twelve months, reflecting a notable surge compared to the 20.37% recorded in March 2023.

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Breaking down the data into urban and rural inflation rates, urban areas experienced a year-on-year inflation rate of 35.18% in March 2024, marking a significant increase of 12.11 percentage points compared to March 2023.

Meanwhile, rural areas saw a year-on-year inflation rate of 31.45%, representing a 10.37 percentage point increase over the same period.

On a month-on-month basis, urban and rural areas both witnessed marginal decreases in inflation rates in March 2024 compared to February 2024. Urban inflation stood at 3.17%, while rural inflation reached 2.87%, indicating a slight easing of price pressures in both segments.

However, the twelve-month average for urban and rural inflation rates in March 2024 remained substantially higher compared to March 2023, underscoring the persistent nature of inflationary forces across both urban and rural areas.

These inflationary trends highlight the ongoing challenges facing Nigeria’s economy, emphasising the need for targeted policy interventions to mitigate the impact on consumers and businesses alike.

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