Consumers hopeful of inflation decline this year

By Oghale Mafuru

Amidst startling economic forecast for 2023 from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, which predicts that global economy will be greatly challenged with a third of the world’s economy in recession, consumers have expressed optimism that the Nigerian economy will rebound this year, even as inflation currently sits at 21.47% according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.

The consumers who decried the harsh economic realities exacerbated by the Russian-Ukarian war and fuel crisis expressed hopes that the economy will rebound this year if the government takes proactive steps to mitigate the adverse effects of external forces through effective policy formulation and implementation.

Pat Amami, a regular shopper at one of the popular supermarkets in Lagos while displaying the items she purchased at the mall, explained that the rising inflation is biting hard as she had drastically reduced her purchase over the last one year which has significantly affected her consumption behavior.

“You see these items I just bought, I usually buy like times three of these items. Sadly, I have to cut down on what I usually buy. I just needed to adjust. The cost is rising, it’s frightening” she lamented.

“Well, I believe that if the government takes steps by making policies and laws that will encourage businesses to grow and drive cost down, things will improve this year” she said.

Stressing the need for government to make smart decisions to stimulate growth of the economy, Omon Omobrude another shopper at the mall, stated that “If government policies are not reviewed to cope with the new realities, nothing will change. Although I hope things will improve this year but we have to do things differently.

“Like last year, so many things happened that affected the economy because the price increase was too much. The difference between what we used to buy and what we buy now is too much. We are praying that things will come back to normal as before. If you want to compare previous years and last year, the gap is too much” she added.

Although, the last one year has been challenging for Moyosore Kolawole and her family as a result of the rising inflation, she expressed optimism that prices of foodstuffs will fall.

She said: “Personally, I am expecting things to come down especially when it comes to foodstuffs. It has not been an easy thing since last year. All of a sudden, everything is just increasing. You can imagine rice, how much did we buy rice before? Instead of buying one bag of rice, I have to buy half bag of rice. Even groundnut oil and maggi, in fact everything is just increasing”.

“So, my expectations this year is that all these things will come back to normal anytime from now. The money I’m expending on foodstuffs now is times two to three of what I was using before. What we are supposed to use for three months, is what we are using for some weeks. So, it is really affecting us. I pray that this year all things would just come down the way it is supposed to be”.

For Queen John, she had to review her monthly budget to cope with the new economic situation. While lamenting about the toll this has on her family, she expressed hopes that this year will be different from previous years.

“I am believing that the prices of foodstuffs will come down this year. I just hope that this 2023 will be better than last year. Last year, things were very expensive. However, this year I expect prices will go down. We hope that bag of rice will go back to normal price because last year, we bought around N40,000. So, I expect a reduction of like N20,000 as well as other foodstuffs to return to normal price. We believe 2023 will be the best year for us.

Another shopper, Oluwatobi Eribake  who revealed that he had to cut down purchase given the current economic challenges expressed concerns over the decline in purchasing power as a result of the rising cost.

He said: “Well it has increased our expenses as we can no longer buy stuffs at the same rate on a weekly basis. It has reduced the purchasing power which I had before, so now I have to spend more to get little. In other to keep body and soul together, I had to cut down and focus on feeding and basic necessities.”

He noted that the current economic challenges is likely to abate with the planned subsidy removal.


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