The Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that inflation continues its upward trend, rising to 28.20% in November from 27.33% in the previous month, implying 0.87% points increase, and 6.73% points when compared to 21.47% recorded in the corresponding month of 2022. On a monthly basis, the Chamber notes the upward trend in consumer prices at 2.09% in November, having slightly moderated in the previous month at 1.73%. The upsurge in inflation is the highest since August 2005 and reflects continued Naira depreciation, higher fuel and food prices.

Food inflation rate increased to 32.84% in the month, implying 1.32% points increase from 31.52% in the previous month and 8.72% points increase compared to 24.13% in the corresponding month of previous year. Core inflation on the other hand, declined by 0.19% point to 22.38% from the previous month, it however, increased by 4.39% points when compared to 17.99% in the corresponding month in 2022. In terms of contributions of items, the data showed that food and non-alcoholic beverages remained the highest contributor to the price increase at 14.61% followed by housing water, electricity, gas and other fuel (4.72%), clothing and footwear (2.16%), transport (1.84%) and furnishings & household equipment & maintenance (1.42%). 

Following eleven consecutive months of acceleration, the battle against inflation must be intensified by the CBN. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is concerned about the continued uptick in inflation and particularly notes that it offers investment disincentives to businesses, squeezes consumers’ income and spending, and constrains manufacturing productivity in the country. We anticipate economic agents, including households and businesses, to continue to deploy strategies that will mitigate inflationary pressures.

CBN is responsible for formulating and implementing monetary policies that foster currency stability. This involves a delicate balance between managing inflation, ensuring a competitive exchange rate, and promoting economic growth. Therefore, the CBN needs to adopt a well-calibrated policy mix that addresses the unique challenges facing the Nigerian economy.

By promoting economic diversification, implementing effective interest rate policies, managing the exchange rate judiciously, and embracing inflation targeting, the CBN can contribute significantly to ensuring the stability of the Naira and fostering a robust and resilient economy.

Further, we implore the government to address the challenges inhibiting domestic production and ease the bottlenecks to the distribution of goods within the country. Finally, we urge the government to continue to address the problems of insecurity and other factors affecting agriculture productivity in the country to improve food supply.

16 DECEMBER 2023

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