Abuja - The economy, measured by the Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), grew by 6,56 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 as against 6,34 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2012.
Dr Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation, said in a statement in Abuja on Thursday that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 9,1 per cent in April as against 8.6 per cent recorded in March 2013.
"This is the fourth consecutive month of single digit year-on-year rates being recorded, and the first time this has occurred since the movement to the new CPI base period,’’ Kale said.
The statement said that relative to March, the rise in the headline index could be primarily attributed to higher price levels of food products due to the effect of declining inventories.
"At this time in the planting season, what are sold are foods which were harvested late last year and the limited supplies of these with a relatively stable demand, pushes prices higher.
"As a result of substantially higher price levels last year, the implications are that the year-on-year changes for this year are likely to be lower," it said.
The statement said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) observed generally slower rises in monthly prices since 2013.
"This may be connected to more prudent fiscal measures together with aggressive stance of monetary policy."
It said that the largest contributors to the increase in the food index in April were bread and cereals, potatoes, yams and other tubers and vegetables.
The statement said that the average annual rate of rise of the food index for the 12-month period ending April 2013 was 10,8 per cent when compared with the same period in 2012.
It said the rate was lower by 0,2 percentage points from the 11,0 per cent recorded in March.
"Within the two broad sectors of the economy, the non-oil sector growth was driven by growth in activities such as building and construction, and hotels and restaurants.
"Others are real estate services, manufacturing, finance and insurance and solid minerals, among others."
The statement said that the output in the oil sector, however, decreased in the first quarter of the year relative to the corresponding quarter of 2012.
"The oil sector recorded an average daily production of 2,29 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2013 based on data obtained from the NNPC as against 2,35 million barrels per day in the corresponding quarter in 2012.
"These figures, with their associated gas components, resulted in a growth rate, in real term of -0.54 per cent in oil GDP in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the –2,32 per cent for the corresponding period in 2012."
The bureau said the oil sector witnessed some disruptions as a result of pipeline vandalism and bunkering with some oil companies, such as Eni (Agip), declaring force majeure during the quarter.
It added that the sector benefited immensely from the relative stability in international crude oil market price and the exchange rate of naira against the dollar.
The bureau said the sector contributed about 14,75 per cent to real GDP in the first quarter, compared to the contribution in the first quarter of 2012 which was 15,80 per cent, and 12,59 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
It said that the non-oil sector continued to be a major driver of the economy in the first quarter of 2013 when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2012.
The bureau said the sector recorded 7,89 per cent growth in real terms in the first quarter of 2013 compared with 8,14 per cent in the corresponding period of 2012.
"The growth in the non-oil sector however declined in the first quarter of 2013 when compared with the corresponding quarter of 2012.
"On the other hand, manufacturing, hotels and restaurants, as well as building and construction were bright spots for the economy during the reference period," it said.