By Lawrence Williams
Annual national consumer price inflation (year-on-year) has increased moderately by 1.38 percentage points, from 43.05% in April 2023 to 44.43% in May 2023, according to Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats SL).
For the period under review, it was noted that prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased from 52.33% in April 2023 to 55.81% in May 2023. More specifically, food inflation increased by 3.35 percentage points, from 52.97 percent in April 2023. This means that the basic costs of rice, flour, bread, fish, garri, cassava, potato, chicken, meat, egg, fruits and vegetables and other cooking stuff have increased over the period. Additionally, the monthly inflation rate for transportation, communication, recreation and culture, and restaurants and hotels increased by an average of 43.05%. Stats SL said the national consumer price inflation (CPI) increase could be attributed to “impact increases in food and non-alcoholic beverages, restaurants and hotels and furniture, household equipment and household maintenance”. Overall, CPI has increased significantly from 17.46% in Dec. 2018 to 37.09% in Dec. 2022, between 2018
In contrast, the monthly consumer price inflation decreased moderately by 0.58%, from 4.0% in April 2023 to 3.42% in May 2023. “The monthly consumer price inflation for May 2023 is 3.42 percent; down by 0.58 percentage point from 4.00 percent in April, 2023,” the report states. However, the report also states that “the National monthly CPI increased from 160.00 in April 2023 to 165.47.00 in May 2023, resulting to a month-on-month (MoM) inflation of 3.42 percent this month.”
The CPI measures the overall change in consumer prices based on a representative basket of goods and services bought by households in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Kono, Makeni, Port Loko and Kambia over time. The CPI collects and analyses the prevailing market prices of about 440 items from six markets in Freetown. It also analyses a total of eighteen provincial markets in the other districts mentioned above.