LCCI STATEMENT ON APRIL 2023 INFLATION RATE
Given the recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the inflation rate rose for the fourth consecutive month to 22.22 percent in April from 22.04 percent recorded in March 2023. This is an increase of 0.18 percentage points.
The data also revealed that food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel, clothing & footwear and transport were the major contributors. In particular, food inflation rate in April 2023 was 24.61 percent, which was 0.16 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in March 2023 (24.45 percent). The rise in food prices was largely attributable to increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, fish, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fruits, meat, vegetables, and spirits. Core inflation also increased significantly by 0.28 percentage points to 20.14 percent in April from 19.86 percent recorded in March 2023 and 14.18 percent in April 2022.
The Chamber notes that since February 2016 to date, the country has recorded a double-digit monthly inflation rate, with an adverse effect on the size of its middle class. Furthermore, the inflation rate of 22.22 percent is the highest in about 17 years, with significant and worrisome impacts on both the household and business sectors. Apart from eroding purchasing power, it has led to inventory stockpiles. If left unchecked, the high inflation may further constrain production, lead to a steeper rise in poverty figures, frustrate economic growth, and lead to higher unemployment and non-competitive exports, especially in the sub-region.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is concerned that despite consistent monetary policy rate hikes taming the inflation trend has remained futile. We, however, appeal to the government to implement fiscal measures, such as reducing/ removing taxes on staple food items to protect the most vulnerable as well as spur demand-side growth.
DR CHINYERE ALMONA, FCA
LAGOS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
16 MAY 2023