The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation, rose further to 9.6 per cent in December compared to 9.4 per cent in the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The 0.2 per cent increase in the headline index was attributed partly to higher prices in imported food items and an increase in transportation cost as a result of intermittent petrol supply shortages.
According to the latest CPI figures released by the statistical agency yesterday, food prices recorded significant pressure in December as the core sub-index rose to 8.7 per cent, the same rate for the third consecutive month.
Urban inflation increased at a faster pace relative to November, increasing by 9.7 per cent (year-on-year) from 9.4 per cent the previous month.
However, the rural index was relatively muted, increasing from 9.3 per cent in November to 9.4 per cent in December.
On a month-on-month basis, both the urban and rural indices increased at 1.0 per cent in December and 0.3 per cent from 0.7 per cent in November.
According to NBS, “The food sub-index increased to 10.6 per cent (year-on-year) during the month, 0.3 percentage points from rates recorded in November. All major food groups which contribute to the food sub-index increased at a faster pace during the month with the exception of the milk, cheese and eggs group.
“All groups which contribute to the food sub-index increased at a higher pace, with the highest rises recorded in the fish, vegetables, potatoes, yams and other tubers, and fruit groups. The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending in December 2015 over the previous twelve-month average was 9.9 per cent. This was marginally higher than the average annual rate of change recorded in November at 9.8 per cent.”
NBS data further showed that the highest price increases were recorded in the garments and vehicle spare parts as a result of replacement costs, passenger transport by road, and furniture and furnishings groups in the month of December.
The average 12-month annual rate of rise of the index was recorded at 8.2 per cent for the twelve-month period ending in December 2015, 0.2 percentage points higher than the rate of change recorded in November.
Also, the average monthly price paid by Nigerian households for a litre of petrol across the country increased to N119.61/litre in December compared to N115.35/litre in November, according to the NBS.
Yet, the official pump price of petrol stood at N87/litre, while figures provided showed that on a monthly average, Nigerians have continued to purchase petrol above the official rate in the period under review.
Bayelsa and Taraba States had the highest monthly average of N154/litre and N153.33/per litre respectively during the month in review while Plateau recorded a monthly average of N147.50/litre in December.
Katsina and Lagos recorded the lowest monthly average of NN89.17/litre and N89.80/litre respectively in the month under review.
Abuja and Rivers recorded a monthly average of N114.78/litre and N116.50/litre respectively in December.