Why Nigerians don’t really believe the country’s figures on inflation rate again

The increasing cost of living is making people to rethink the figures thrown out by the statistics body.

According to the September 2017 inflation report by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s inflation drop to 15.98 in the month from 16.01 recorded in August.

This 0.03 percent decline in the rate is the eighth consecutive drop in the general price level since February 2017.

“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in September 2017 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 17.17 percent, showing 0.16 percent point lower from 17.33 percent recorded in August 2017,” the report said.

This report which was released on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, indicated that all major food sub-indexes. This shows the decline in the inflation rate is caused by ‘base effect’ and not a true reflection of market and economic reality in the country.

For Nigerians, the concern is around the prices of goods - especially food, that have been moving north since 2015. This has made some people question the reliability of the data released by the country’s statistics body. If the decline does not reflect in the price of basic necessities, then the statistics body need to do more on orienting the populace on how these figures are arrived at.

To address this issue, it is pertinent that NBS should always stress the month-on-month inflation rate over the annualized changes in the CPI. Since the MoM best reflects the current market realities in the country.

“On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.84 percent in September 2017, down from 0.99 percent recorded in August, while the rural index rose by 0.74 percent in September 2017, down from 0.95 percent in August.”

For the last eight months that the annual inflation has been rescinding, the MoM inflation rate has always been on the increase.

To properly address the problem, a note on the report would help people get grasps on what the figures are really and how to interpret.

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