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January Inflation to Hit 18.64% Amid Rising Food Costs—FSDH

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A latest report released by FSDH Research has predicted a rise in Nigeria’s inflation rate for the month of January.

In its inflation watch released on Thursday, FSDH stated that it expects the “January 2017 inflation rate (year-on-year) to increase further to 18.64 percent from 18.55 percent recorded in the month of December 2016.”

Explaining reason for the expected rise, the report said it is due to “increase in the prices of food items and other non-food items as a result of the continued pressure on the value of the Naira.”

It further noted that the “increase in the price of diesel which is predominantly used in production of goods and services will also contribute to the rising inflation rate.”

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to release the inflation rate for the month of January 2017 on February 15, 2017 based on data calendar on its website.

According to the monthly Food Price Index (FPI) released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) this week, the Index averaged 173.8 points, 2.15 percent higher than the revised value for December 2016, and 16.41 percent higher than the January 2016 figure.

At its current level, the Index has reached its highest value since February 2015.

Last month’s increase reflected sharp increases in the prices of sugar, cereals and vegetable oils. The Sugar Price Index rebounded sharply by 9.9 percent in January on the heels of reports of low production conditions in the main sugar producing regions of Brazil, India and Thailand.

The FAO Cereal Price Index increased by 3.37 percent from the previous month and represents a six-month high. The increase recorded was due to the rise in the prices of wheat, maize and rice, with wheat reflecting the highest increase amid concerns over unfavourable weather conditions.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index was up 1.82 percent, driven by palm oil prices, reflecting concerns over supply tightness in Southeast Asia.

The FAO Dairy Index appreciated marginally by 0.20 percent from December 2016, prices of dairy products remained relatively stable across the board. The FAO Meat Price Index was marginally down by 0.06 percent.

According to the analysis of FSDH, the value of the Naira depreciated at both the inter-bank and the parallel market.

The value of the Naira lost marginally by 0.08 percent at the inter-bank market to close at $/N305.25 while it lost 2.09 percent at the parallel market to close at $/N491 at the end of January.

The depreciation recorded in the foreign exchange rate particularly in the parallel market between the two months and higher prices in the international market put further pressure on domestic prices in January 2017.

The prices of food items that FSDH Research monitored in January 2016 moved in varying directions. The prices of garri and tomatoes were up by 7.14 percent and 2.78 percent respectively; meanwhile, the prices of palm oil and fish were down by 7.14 percent and 2.08 percent respectively.

The prices of most other food items remained unchanged. The movement in the prices of food items during the month resulted in a 0.96 percent increase in the Food and Non-Alcoholic Index to 219.72 points, while it increases in the prices of Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas &Other Fuels divisions between December 2016 and January 2017.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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