Nigerian inflation in November was lowest in more than five years

2021-12-15 21:26:45
Nigerian inflation in November was lowest in more than five years

Nigeria's double-digit inflation eased in November to lowest level in more than five years as the rise in prices for food and non-food items slowed, the statistics office said on Wednesday.

Inflation in Africa’s most populous nation, which has been in double digits since 2016, eased by 0.59 percentage points to 15.40% in November, the office said.

"Inflation has continued its declining trend," Simon Harry, head of National Bureau of Statistics said.

Last month, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said the government planned to remove a longstanding fuel subsidy next year and replace it with 5,000 naira monthly payments to the poorest families as a transport subsidy.

The reform could reduce government's expenditure but stoke inflation, analysts say.

The country has said the persistent inflationary pressures are structural - linked to deficits and not solely a money supply issue - and largely imported.

Food price inflation, the major headline component, declined by 1.13 percentage points in November to 17.21%, the statistics office said. Core inflation, excluding prices of farm produce, rose 0.61 percentage points to 13.85%.

Nigeria imports many key goods and services. A dollar shortage has prompted the government to put restrictions on forex for certain items, keeping the pressure on prices.

The World Bank in November urged Nigeria to end its costly fuel subsidy within the next three-to-six months, improve exchange-rate management and speed up other reforms to boost growth.

Nigeria had been grappling with low growth since before the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a recession and created large financing gaps, including dollar shortages and inflation.

The World Bank projected Nigeria's economy would grow 2.4% this year after it rose 4% in the third-quarter, its fourth quarterly rise. However, third-quarter growth rate slowed compared with the previous quarter.

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