By Ngozi Onyeakusi — The National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday said the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, increased to 11.44 per cent (year-on-year) in December from 11.28 per cent in the preceding month.

The 0.16 percentage points increase, the NBS explained, was caused by an increase in price in all the divisions that constitute the headline index.

On a month-on-month basis, the bureau said headline index increased by 0.74 per cent in December, up by 0.06 per cent points from the 0.80 per cent recorded in November.

The report read in part, “The consumer price index, which measures inflation, increased by 11.44 per cent year-on-year in December 2018.

“This is 0.16 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in November 2018 (11.28 per cent).”

The report said the urban inflation rate increased by 11.73 per cent year-on-year in December from 11.61 per cent in November.

For rural inflation rate, the NBS said this rose by 11.18 per cent in December from 10.99 per cent in November.

On a month-on-month basis, the report said urban index rose by 0.76 per cent in December, down by 0.07 from 0.83 per cent in November, while the rural index also rose by 0.72 per cent in December, down by 0.06 per cent from the rate recorded in November, which was 0.78 per cent.

The increase in inflation rate, according to experts, can be attributed to consumers’ spending during the 2018

Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, had earlier said that Nigeria’s inflation rate was expected to rise to about 11.4 per cent from December to mid-2019.

He stated, “Inflation expectations are rising on the backdrop of anticipated politically related liquidity injections. For the rest of 2018 and towards mid-2019, Nigeria’s rate of inflation is projected to rise slightly to about 11.4 per cent and then moderate thereafter.”

According to a research by the FSDH Merchant Bank Limited on inflation rate for the period under review, the expected increase in the inflation rate will reflect higher price increases within the food and non-alcoholic beverages division and other non-food items, due to end-of-year and festivity purchases.