Experts predict marginal drop in inflation rate

Financial experts at the research unit of FSDH Merchant Bank have projected that the inflation rate (year-on-year) will drop marginally to 15.99% in August 2017 from the 16.05% reported in July.

FSDH said the expected decrease in the inflation rate “is largely attributed to the downward movement in some categories of non-food items in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket, as well as decrease in some food prices.”

It said its model indicated that the general price movement in the consumer goods and services in August 2017 increased the Composite Consumer Price Index (CCPI) to 239.27 points, representing a month-on-month increase of 0.95%.

“The monthly Food Price Index (FPI) that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released today indicates that the Index averaged 176.6 points in August 2017, 1.30% lower than the July 2017 value.

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“According to the FAO, the decline in the FPI for August 2017 reflected generally lower values for cereals, sugar and meat than prior month and more than compensated for the increase in the vegetable oil and dairy prices.”

The experts stated that the FAO Sugar Price Index decreased by 1.7% in August, from July 2017 and has been on downward trend since the beginning of 2017. “The decline in the FAO Sugar Index was mainly driven by favourable prospects for cane harvests in major producing countries. The FAO Cereal Price Index was also down by 5.40% in August 2017. Cereal prices was driven downwards by large global supplies.”

The FAO Meat Index was also down by 1.2% in August, compared with July figure. On the flip side, The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index was up by 2.50%, driven by rising quotations for palm oil and soy oil. The FAO Dairy Price Index also appreciated by 1.4% in August 2017.

“Our analysis indicates that the value of the Naira depreciated marginally at both the inter-bank and parallel markets. The value of Naira lost by 0.07% to close at N305.85/US$ at the inter-bank market and lost by 0.27% to close at N368/US$ at the parallel market at the end of August 2017, compared with July 2017.”

According to the report, the marginal depreciation in the value of the Naira is not expected to have a significant negative pass-through effect on local prices because of the fall in price of major imported food items in the international food market.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to release statistics in inflation rate for the month of August on September 15, 2017.