Cameroon’s National Institute of Statistics NIS said Thursday May 19, 2022 that the country’s inflation rate could cross the 3% mark in 2022.
Its being months of price hikes in Cameroon, from one product to the other thus a possible inflation could be predictable “If the current pace of price increases is maintained, the inflation rate could cross the 3% mark in 2022, in the absence of additional strong measures both comprehensive and targeted support to businesses for a supply of products at moderate prices and households to safeguard their purchasing power already eroded by a significant cumulative inflation of more than 9.2% between 2017 and 2021,” said the INS in a survey published Thursday.
The dysfunctions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are exacerbated by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which further accelerates the inflation of imported and local products, the NSI noted.
In the first quarter of 2022, the NSI noted, household final consumption prices rose by 4.4% year-on-year. “On average over the last twelve months, prices continued to rise in March 2022, increasing by 2.9%, while the increase was only 2.3% in March 2021, 2.5% in January 2022 and 2.7% in February 2022,” the NSI said.
According to the business survey, the main determinant of this inflationary surge is the increase in food prices by 6.0%, after 3.4% a year ago, mainly due to the 6.8% rise in bread and cereal prices, the 6.4% rise in meat prices and the 10.2% rise in oil and fat prices.
The tolerable inflation threshold of 3% within the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), has already been reached or crossed in six of the ten regional capitals of Cameroon, respectively 4.5% in Ebolowa (South), 4.4% in Bamenda (North-West), 4.3% in Maroua (Far North), 3.9% in Bertoua (East), 3.6% in Bafoussam (West) and 3.0% in Garoua (North), according to the same source.
This situation arises while more than 2.8 million people (11% of the total population) are currently food insecure in Cameroon, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at the end of the official presentation of the results of a survey conducted in collaboration with the government and technical and financial partners.
During the period from March to May 2022, access to food has been impacted by the overall increase in food prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, climatic troubles and ongoing conflicts in the country, a trend which, according to the UN agency, could be aggravated by the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.