The headline inflation rose to 16.82% year-on-year (YoY) in April 2022 from 15.92% YoY in March 2022. On a month-on-month (MoM) basis, the index printed at 1.76% in April 2022 from 1.74% in March 2022.
Core inflation rose to 14.18% YoY in April 2022 from 13.91% in March 2022. On a month-on-month basis, core inflation rose to 1.22% in April 2022 from 0.99% in March 2022.
Food inflation spiked to 18.37% YoY in April 2022 from 17.20% in March 2022. On a month-on-month basis, food inflation rose to 2.00% in April 2022 from 1.99% in March 2022.
The inflationary pressure in April 2022 was majorly driven by higher food prices. We attribute the rise in food prices to the lingering legacy bottlenecks associated with food supply including insecurity, inefficient storage, and poor transportation. On transportation, we opine that higher energy prices, particularly diesel, factored in high food transportation costs in April 2022. Notably, prices have been on an upward trajectory in the global crude oil market, majorly induced by the ongoing geopolitical conflict in the Eastern Europe. The food items that recorded the highest price increases during the period were bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, wine, fish, meat and oils accounted for the rise in the food index. Meanwhile, gas, liquid fuel, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, and clothing accessories noted significant price increases that drove the core index.
We expect to see sustained inflationary pressure in the near term, driven by higher food and energy prices. We also believe that there is a possibility of election-related spending to factor in upward inflationary pressure in the near term.
Expected Policy Response
Notwithstanding the recent rising trend in inflation rate, we do not expect to see a major deviation from the pro-growth stance of the monetary policy authorities. We believe that policy rates would be held constant at the next Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee meeting, scheduled to hold on May 23 – 24, 2022. However, we might see policy adjustments via other tools within the CBN disposal, some of which include CRR, money market yields, OMO bills and treasury bills.
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