The National Bureau of Statistics in its Consumer Price Index May 2020 report released on Wednesday said the latest increase represents 0.06 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in April, which was 12.34 per cent.
Findings showed that the 12.40 per cent May inflation rate is the highest to be recorded by the economy in the last 25 months. The last time the index was as high as this was in April 2018 when the CPI was put at 12.48 per cent.
The country has witnessed persistent rise in inflation monthly since the beginning of the year.
The NBS statistics showed that in January, February and March, the country’s inflation rates were 12.13 per cent, 12.20 per cent and 12.26 per cent, respectively.
In April and May, the rates went up to 12.34 per cent and 12.40 per cent, respectively.
In the May report, the NBS stated that on a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.17 per cent in May, which was 0.15 per cent higher than the 1.02 per cent rate recorded in April.
The bureau said, “Urban inflation rate increased by 13.03 per cent (year-on-year) in May from 13.01 per cent recorded in April, while the rural inflation rate increased by 11.83 per cent in May from 11.73 per cent in April.”
“On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 1.18 per cent in May, up by 0.12 points from 1.06 per cent recorded in April, while the rural index also rose by 1.16 per cent in May, up by 0.18 points from the rate recorded in April (0.90 per cent).”
It said the corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 12.36 per cent in May.
This, according to the bureau, was higher than the 12.26 per cent reported in April, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in May was 11.26 per cent compared to 11.20 per cent recorded in April.
The NBS said the percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending May 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was 11.79 per cent, showing 0.08 per cent point from 11.71 per cent recorded in April 2020.
It explained in its report that the composite food index rose by 15.04 per cent year-on-year in May 2020 compared to 15.03 per cent in April 2020.
The NBS said, “This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, oils and fats, fruits, fish and meat.
“The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending May 2020 over the previous twelve-month average was 14.33 per cent, 0.11 points from the average annual rate of change recorded in April 2020 (14.22 per cent).”
The bureau noted that all items less farm produce or core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce, stood at 10.12 per cent in May 2020, up by 0.14 per cent when compared with the 9.98 per cent recorded in April 2020.