With continuing growing rates over the past few months, inflation rate has surged to 13.7 percent in the first month of the current year and this rate is feared to go on for a longer-term, according to the Central Statistics Agency (CSA).
In its latest report released on Wednesday, the Agency revealed that, at a country level, the overall inflation rate (annual change based on 12 months moving average) rose by 10.5 percent in January 2018, compared to the one observed in a similar period a year ago.
The Agency, further noted that, the level of food inflation nationwide increased to 13.7 percent as compared to the one observed a year ago. While the level of non-food inflation rate in January 2018 surged to 7.1 percent, higher than what it was in the previous year of the same reported period. The 12 months moving average inflation rate shows the long-term inflationary situation.
Similarly, the Agency has also revealed the year-on-year change, which mainly shows the comparison of the inflationary situations existing between the current and the previous year’s similar period.
Accordingly, the January 2018 general year-on-year inflation has increased to 13.4 percent as compared to the one observed in January 2017.
“The rise in general inflation rate is due to the fact that the General Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 177.6 percent observed in January 2018, was higher than the corresponding 156.6 percent CPI observed in January 2017,” the report said.
“The year-on-year food inflation has increased to 18.0 percent in January 2018 compared to January 2017,” the report said, adding that the reason for the increase in food inflation rate was that of a 181.6 percent Food Consumer Price Index (CPI) observed in January 2018 to be far greater than the corresponding 153.9 percent Food CPI observed last year.
During the months under review, the prices of most major cereals showed a decline. However, compared to last month, increases were observed in other food items such as meat, milk, butter, eggs, oils and fats, pulses, vegetables and fruits.
The Agency also said that, it believes the big religious festivals in the month of January 2018, have contributed for the rise in prices of the stated food items.
Meanwhile, the non-food inflation rate also increased to 8.4 percent in January 2018, when compared to January 2017. The rise in inflation in the non-food component is mainly due to rise in the prices of Khat, clothing and footwear, housing and energy (construction materials, and charcoal), household goods and furnishings, health care, and food and drinks, the report said.
Similarly, the Agency has also verified the month-on-month General CPI for January 2018, which said is the forgone month, has showed an increase of 0.4 percent as compared to the preceding month. Indicating that this monthly inflation rate measures the price change between the two latest months, the agency further noted that “although up to date, it still can be affected by seasonal and other short-term effects”.