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Hike in Food prices pegged on electoral processes 

May 14, 2018 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

Statistic Sierra Leone has pegged the general increase in the prices of food and non-food items on the March 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone.

According to the February, 2018 Consumer Price Index (CPI) from Statistics Sierra Leone, most importers suspended importation of most of the items measured in the CPI basket and that it was also reinforced by the decreased in the supply of locally produced items.

“The general increase in the price level in all the centres was as a result of the Presidential and general elections as most importers stopped the importation of most of the items in the CPI basket reinforced by the decrease in the supply of locally produced items like oils and fats, meat, fruit, vegetables and fish,” the release from statistic states.

A press statement from Statistics states that the national monthly CPI increased from 219.73% in January, 2018 to 222.65% in February, 2018, resulting in a 1.33% increase in inflation rate for that month in all the regions.

Meanwhile, northern region tops the chart with 2.07%, followed by the eastern region with 1.94%. Southern region and the Western area closely followed with a percentage of 1.21 and 1.02 respectively.

‘Similarly, in December, 2017, the national monthly CPI increased from 216.11 percent to 219.73 percent in January, 2018, resulting in a 1.68 percent increase in inflation rate for that month. This however, reflects a slight monthly increase that was slightly lesser than the previous month, meaning that prices are decreasing at a relatively higher rate,’ the release states.

Statistics continued that there was a general increase in the price level in all the four regions which affected on most of the components in the CPI basket, including food and non-alcoholic beverages.

On the contrary, the national annual inflation rate for February, 2018 decreased slightly from 14.69 percent in January, 2018 to 14.40 percent in February, 2018.

The National CPI measures the change in prices-on average- from month to month- of the goods and services bought by most households  in Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni, including all expenditure groups and both families and single persons.

Prices were collected for 251 items and all the prices collected were the prevailing retail market prices from six markets in the Greater Freetown area, three Markets in Bo Town and Kenema Town whilst two markets in Makeni Town were gauged for the weekly prices and other outlets for monthly items which prices are less likely to fluctuate rapidly.