Experts express mixed feelings on new consumer price index figures

Inflation

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), further dropped to 15.37 per cent in December 2017 from 15.90 per cent recorded in November of the same year.

The NBS disclosed this in its CPI report for December 2017 released yesterday in Abuja. But top-notch economists spoken to yesterday reacted to the new CPI figures with mixed feelings and disbelief.

An Infrastructure Economist at the University of Abuja, Prof. Siyan Peter, attributed the sluggish deceleration of the CPI to the recent rallying of crude oil prices and doubted if the economy was really growing.

According to him: “As economist, we are bound to believe in data. But seriously speaking, the Nigerian economy has not been recording any growth. What we may have been witnessing is the effect of the appreciation of oil mineral prices at the international market, which has enriched our foreign reserves and by extension has provided the latitude for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intervene in the forex exchange market to shore the value of the naira.’’

The Executive Chairman of Society of Analytical Economics, Prof. Godwin Owoh, doubted the flawlessness of the CBI figures outcome and advised that Nigeria should emulate other serious African nations by subjecting their data for fiscal audit.

His words:” I don’t believe those figures. I can’t rely on that data. Our data must be subjected to fiscal audits to make them believable.”

A Development Economist, Dr. Emmanuel Analiefo, described the data as “imaginary” pointing out that the Nigerian Economy has not been recording growth because the government is averse to new ideas or suggestions.’’

The report explains that the change represented a 0.53 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in November, making it the 11th consecutive disinflation (slowdown in the inflation rate though still positive) in headline year- on- year inflation since January 2017.

Increases have been recorded in all the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yield the Headline Index.



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