The nation’s statistics bureau in its latest report said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased by 16.25 percent (year-on-year) in May 2017. This was 0.99 percent points lower the rate recorded in April (17.24 percent). Accordingly, this represents the fourth consecutive decline in the rate of inflation since January 2017.
According to NBS, the Headline index increased month-on-month by 1.88 percent in May 2017, 0.28 percent points higher than the rate of 1.60 percent recorded in April 2017 indicating the existence of persistence pressure on prices despite the general decline in year on year inflation. Month on Month inflation has cumulatively risen by 7.7 percent since January 2017.
The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending in May 2017 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was 17.63 percent, higher from 17.59 percent recorded in April 2017.
However, the Food Index increased by 19.27 percent (year-on-year) in May 2017, down by 0.03 percent points from the rate recorded in April (19.30 percent) indicating continued pressure in food prices. Price movements recorded by All Items less farm produce or Core sub-index rose by 13.00 percent (year-on-year) in May, down by 1.80 percent points from rate recorded in April (14.80) percent. This represents the 7th straight month of decline in the core index since November 2016.
The Urban index rose by 16.34 percent (year-on-year) in May 2017 from 17.62 percent recorded in April, while the Rural index increased by 16.02 percent in May from 16.69 percent in April. On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.84 percent in May from 1.61 percent recorded in April, while the rural index rose by 1.92 percent in May from 1.59 percent in April. The corresponding twelve-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index increased from 18.98 percent in April to 18.88 percent in May, while the corresponding rural index also increased from 16.37 percent in April to 16.50 percent in May.
NBS said the rise in the index was caused by increases in prices of meat, bread and cereals, fish, potatoes, milk cheese and eggs as well as vegetables such as tomatoes.
On a month-on-month basis, the Food sub-index increased by 2.54 percent in May, up by 0.50 percent points from 2.04 percent recorded in April. This represents the highest month on month change in food prices since May 2016 and cumulatively represents a rise in the food index of 10.1 percent since January 2017. The Food Index in May whether on a year on year basis on month on month basis, therefore, indicates sustained pressure on food prices since then beginning of the year following high food prices recorded the whole of 2016. The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending in May 2017 over the previous twelve-month average was 17.48 percent, 0.37 percent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in April (17.11) percent.
According to the report, the ”All Items less Farm Produce” or Core sub-index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce eased by 1.80 percent during the month t0 13.00 percent points from 14.80 percent recorded in April as all key divisions which contribute to the index increased but at a decreasing rate. On a month-on-month basis, the Core sub-index increased by 1.17 percent in May, 0.07 percent points higher than the 1.10 percent recorded in April. The highest increases in core inflation were recorded in the prices of solid and liquid fuels, garments and clothing materials and other articles of clothing, spirits, motor cars, wine, bicycles, shoes and other footwear, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, motorcycle and air transport. The average 12-month annual rate of rising of the index was recorded at 16.57 percent for the twelve-month period ending in May 2017, 0.20 percent points lower from the twelve-month rate of change recorded in April.