Inflation: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed monthly increases in April 2014 in Central (by 15%) and Southern zones (4%) of Somalia but remained stable in the Northern Somali shilling (SoSh) zone; the CPI dropped marginally (by 2%) in Somaliland shilling (SlSh) areas. Inflation rose year-on-year across the country, most significantly (by 22%) in Central zone. Compared to the base period (March 2007), CPI increased moderately in SlSh regions and significantly in SoSh areas.
Exchange rate: The exchange rate between local currencies (SoSh and SlSh) and the United States Dollar (USD) remained stable in April 2014 in the North and Central, but depreciated month-on-month in most southern regions. Compared to a year ago (April 2013), the SoSh lost value in southern regions but remained stable in central and northern regions; the SlSh also remained unchanged yearon-year. Conversely, the SoSh shows a strong gain in value compared to the five-year average (2009-2012), particularly in southern regions.
Local grain prices increased from March to April in most markets with the significant acceleration observed in Bakool, Middle Shabelle, Hiran and Mogadishu. The price surge in these regions stems from low/ erratic supplies on the markets due to various reasons, including deteriorated security situation, dwindling stocks from the prior below average seasonal (Deyr) harvest, less favourable Gu cereal production outlook and an increased demand as a result of recent refugee returns (mainly to Mogadishu). Relative stability in prices was recorded only in the northern regions. Annual (April 2013) comparison indicates significant swelling in local cereal prices in most regions; however, the prices are below their five-year average (March 2009-2013) levels across many regions.
Prices of imported food (rice, sugar, vegetable oil & wheat flour) quoted in local currency showed mild monthly changes in most regions with the exception of Bakool and Bay regions where they increased at moderate to high rates for most commodities. Prices of most of these commodities increased year-on-year in Banadir, Lower Shabelle, Bay and Bakool regions, while they fell in other markets. Compared to five-year averages, the prices exhibit declines in most SoSh areas (apart from Bakool where they increased) and mild gains in SlSh areas.