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We've launched real-time price information for Nigeria
The Standard Chartered-Premise Consumer Price Tracker (“the Tracker”), first announced in June 2014, has released its first set of figures. Partnering with the Premise Data Corporation, Standard Chartered aims to provide more accurate, real-time price information for Nigeria to begin with, with a plan to roll the Tracker out to other African economies over time.
Already, hundreds of people in key Nigerian cities are engaged in capturing price information on their smartphones, with participants paid through top-up mobile phone credits. Photographs of food staples and their price tags are uploaded to a central database and where price tags are not on display, information on prices are entered manually. Each week, price information on approximately 21,000 food and beverage products, such as vegetables and cereals, is captured, aggregated, and then analysed and structured into real-time consumer price inflation data. From this data and analysis we publish the Tracker.
Despite only starting this data collection at the beginning of August, the Tracker already reveals some interesting trends for August and September, including:
The general price trend appears to be down. This contrasts with Nigeria’s official year on year CPI inflation, where an unfavourable base is expected to trigger rising inflation in the coming months. As our prices are measured from 1 August 2014, the month to month rise in September is likely to be modest.
Price declines in the ‘grains and flours’ category are responsible for much of the price downtrend. Price declines since 1 August in the starchy roots, tubers and plantains categories may also have helped. This is notable given the view expressed at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) September policy meeting that food-price inflation may remain elevated given the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency and related disruptions to agriculture in parts of the country.
Price trends diverge widely between Lagos and Kano. This is especially true for the meat sub-index, with meat prices rising strongly in Lagos but falling in Kano.
- Alcohol prices have seen pronounced volatility, rising in August and correcting sharply in the latter half of September. It is probably too soon to read much into this.
Given increased Nigerian naira (NGN) weakness in October, and evidence of greater market liquidity, we will watch the impact on prices closely in the weeks ahead.
The volume of economic data available in Sub-Saharan African economies remains low in comparison to international markets, with official statistics often being out of date. This creates a challenge for decision-makers in both the private sector and governments. A lack of reliable market statistics leads to uncertainty; adds to the cost of doing business and can impact the formulation of policies, business investment and expansion strategies. However, by adopting this innovative mobile data technology platform, we provide a potential solution to this problem.
Diana Layfield, CEO for Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, commented: “Our indicators bring credible and reliable market data to our clients, investors and governments in Africa and abroad. Africa has been home to us for over 150 years – we understand its diverse culture, we understand the market dynamics, and we remain committed to using our expertise to ensure the continent fulfils its vast economic potential. In using innovative technology, our Consumer Price Tracker is set be one of Nigeria’s key indicators when it comes to tracking price inflation.”
Adrian Walkling, Head of Global Research, Standard Chartered Bank, added: “Our clients value highly our unique on-the-ground insights coming from our footprint research and we continue to work at the frontier of data sourcing, analysis and presentation with our innovative technology partners, such as Premise Data Corporation. We recognise that differentiating our content through innovation keeps our research insights ahead of the pack.”
Over time, it will be possible to extend the price observations to other items such as personal care or healthcare products. Through the use of this ground-breaking technology, we hope to resolve the problem of information asymmetry in a way that will allow for a deepening of our understanding of the Nigerian economy and help to facilitate decision making with better information.
For further information please contact:
Senior Manager, External Communications
Standard Chartered Bank
44 (0)7766 443662
Head of Business Communications, Africa
Standard Chartered Bank
+27 (0)82 894 5581
Note to Editors
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