By Odunewu Segun
Nigeria’s economy slipped deeper into recession as recent statistics released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics showed that inflation has continued to soar, rising from the previous 16.5 per cent recorded in June to 17.1 per cent in July.
From the statistics, the onset of the harvest season is also yet to have significant impact on food prices as the Food Sub-index increased by 15.8 per cent (year-on-year) in July, o.5 per cent points lower from rates recorded in June.
Inflation, which has recorded nine unbroken years increased, according to the NBS statistics, showed that increases were recorded in all ‘COICOP divisions, which contributed to the headline index, reflecting higher prices across the economy.
The NBS stated that the pace of the increase in the headline index was however weighed upon by a slower increase in three divisions; health, transport, recreation and culture divisions.
“Prices however increased at a slower pace across a few groups within the food sub-index, namely milk, cheese and eggs; oils and fats; and fruits,’’ the report stated.
The report added that imported foods as reflected by the imported food sub-index increased by 0.4 per cent points from June to 20.5 per cent in July. It stated that energy and energy-related prices continued to be the largest increases reflected in the core sub-index.
The report further stated: “In July, the core sub-index increased by 16.9 per cent during the month, up by 0.7 per cent points from rates recorded in June (16.2 per cent).
“During the month, the highest increases were seen in the electricity, liquid fuel (kerosene), solid fuels, and fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment groups.
It said the Month-on-month headline index increased, albeit, at a slower pace, for the second consecutive month in July. The index increased by 1.3 per cent in July, 0.4 per cent points from 1.7 per cent recorded in June.
In the latest statistics, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) also declined by 2.06 per cent (year-on-year) in the second quarter of 2016.