The annual inflation has moved slightly downwards from 8. 86 percent recorded in January 2016 to 8.73 percent in February 2016 due to changes in the inflationary pattern in the various regions of the country, according to the statistics agency in a statement.
“The year-on-year rates of inflation increased in Western region from 8.49 per cent in January 2016 to 8.52 per cent in February 2016 and in the Northern region from 10.67 per cent to 10.69 per cent while, the year-on-year rates of inflation decreased in Southern region from 8.42 per cent to 8.18 per cent and in Eastern region from 9.79 per cent to 9.78 per cent,” the release states.
Contrastingly, the monthly inflation increased from 260.24 percent in January 2016 to 261.25 in February 2015 and the rate of inflation increased in all the regions of the country.
“This reflects a monthly increase that is greater than the previous month, meaning that prices are increasing at a slightly higher rate. The increase in the price level for March 2016 was as a result of the decrease in the supply of most domestically produced food products especially the vegetables reinforced by the depreciation of the Leone as against the forex especially the US dollar,” the statement reads.
The annual inflation also known as the year-on-year rate of inflation is what is mentioned in most reports (if not all) and not the monthly inflation to discuss the country’s current level of inflation.
In the Monetary Policy Statement of the Bank of Sierra Leone in the first quarter of 2016 for instance, the annual rate of inflation of 8.85 percent recorded in December 2015 was one of the factors considered to keep the monetary policy rate at 9.5 percent until the next monetary policy meeting in the second quarter of the year.
Likewise, in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) press release of March 29 this year projecting a 4.3 percent growth in the economy, it referred to the December 2015 annual rate of inflation and forecast an up-tick in 2016 largely based on the current level of the exchange rate.