Nigerian inflation shifts a bit lower in March, but still the highest in Africa
Annual inflation in Nigeria has fallen a bit low from 17.78% in February to 17.26% in March 2017.
This may be as a result of the central bank intervention on the currency market to meet demand for dollars, according to the statistics office on Thursday.
Inflation has remained in its highest form since 2016 , said to be the highest in Africa.
But some of economists, who volunteered comments on this matter, said there was no much difference in the inflation rate in since the beginning of 2017, which was expected to have recorded impressive drop from its figures in 2016 since Nigeria’s recession is sad ti be easing off.
Mr. Geoffrey Oun an investment consultant said: “Until a single digit is recorded in Nigeria, as is known to be in other countries, it is not cheering news.”
Another expert, John Odah, a financial analyst put it this way:”High inflation trend is a sign of economy in distress, what is to make purchasing powers of an average citizen strong and not to be eaten up by inflation will be the joy of all.”
“The high cost of food items in the country cannot be still be high and you want the people to believe that inflation has come down.”
But NBS said the general price levels in Nigerian economy rose for the 12th straight month in January to its highest level in more than 11 years.
“In the second consecutive month in the beginning of 2017, inflation witnessed stability, which helped in stabilizing prices of goods and services”.
“It is also indicative of early effects of a strengthened naira in the foreign exchange rate market,” it said.
Analysts had also expected the Monetary Policy Committee of CBN would have at it last March meeting tinker with the inflation rate policy in line with its mandate to over both the fiscal and monetary policy of Nigeria.
The central bank has sold over $4 billion on the forward currency market since February in an attempt to improve dollar liquidity and narrow the spread between the official and the black market exchange rates. Black market rates have fallen as a shortage of dollars caused the naira to plummet.