Inflation eases to 12.7 percent in May

Channels Television  
Updated June 19, 2012

The nation’s consumer inflation eased slightly to 12.7 percent year-on-year in May, from 12.9 percent in April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.

Food inflation rose sharply to 12.9 percent year-on-year in May, from 11.2 percent the previous month, an NBS report said.

“The high year-on-year change could be partly attributable to persistent increases in the prices of some farm produce due to the farming season, for example vegetables which are typically in short supply at this time of the year,” the NBS report said.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile agricultural produce, rose to 14.9 percent in May, from 14.7 percent in April.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wants consumer inflation in single-digits but has accepted that the headline figure is likely to peak at around 14 percent later this year.

The regulator last month kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 12 percent for the fourth meeting running, citing the need to balance inflationary concerns with slowing economic growth.

“Given the slowdown in real GDP growth, and the weakness in monetary aggregates, Nigerian interest rates are likely comfortably on hold for the rest of the year,” Razia Khan, Head of Africa Research at Standard Chartered, said in reaction to the inflation figures.