Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates

August 19, 2017

Africa Economic Update (Issue 6)

Available data shows that headline inflation reduced in most countries in the region in May 2017 relative to preceding months. Notably, headline inflation decreased in Nigeria (16.25 percent), Ghana (12.26 percent), Tanzania (6.1 percent), Senegal (1.8 percent), Namibia (6.3 percent) and Rwanda (11.7 percent), while it grew in South Africa (5.4 percent), Kenya (11.7 percent), Ethiopia (8.7 percent) and Uganda (7.2 percent). Cote dIvoire (-0.4 percent) recorded consumer price deflation. The decrease in consumer price in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana can be attributed to decreases in both food and non-food components of inflation. Regionally, all countries in Southern Africa recorded single digits inflation, however consumer price marginally increased in South Africa, for the first time in 2017 owing to spike in food prices6, and Botswana (both by 0.1 percent).

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Extra-ECOWAS Trade And Investment Flows: Any Evidence Of Business Cycles Transmission

This study investigates the effects of merchandise trade and investment flows on the transmission of business cycles between members of ECOWAS and the major trading partnersbetween 1985 and 2014. Total trade and FDI significantly influence the transmission of business cycles with elasticities of 1.1% and 0.7%, respectively in the long run. There are little variations across the major trading partners and other measures of trade flows. Intra-industry trade flows with all partners, EU and USA influences the cross-country business cycles with elasticities of 1.0%, 0.5% and 1.8%, respectively. 

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 5)

The Naira continued to depreciate in the review week. At the parallel market, naira exchanged for N498/$ on January 27, 2017 and N500/$ on February 3, 2017. Despite the weekly sales of forex to BDCs and the significant improvements in the external reserves, the naira has continued to lose value to other currencies. The pressure on the naira has been triggered by escalating scarcity of forex in the spot market, likely due to forex hoarding. However, in the preceding week, the CBN sold $660 million in forwards contract in an attempt to manage liquidity and stabilize the naira. In the face of growing speculation in the parallel market, the monetary authority should institute mechanisms that would discourage excessive forex hoarding among licensed BDC operators. An initiative that monitors transaction dealings in the parallel market would go a long way in detecting erring BDC operators.

Institutions And Sustainable Industrial-led Development In Sub-Saharan Africa

In 2015, economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) slowed to 3.4 percent from 4.6 percent the previous year. The economic slowdown in the region was the result of an interplay of several external and domestic factors such as lower commodity prices, slowdown in the economies of major trading partners, tightening borrowing conditions, political instability and conflict, electricity shortages and other infrastructure deficiencies (World Bank, 2016). This sluggish growth trends is in contrast to the impressive growth recorded in the region, over the past decade.

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 24)

The external reserves decreased week-on-week marginally by 0.2 percent from June 9, 2017 to June 16, 2017. The reserve declined from $30.27 billion to $30.21 billion. Given that crude oil revenue constitutes the most part of the reserve, the decline may be reflective of the week-on-week drop in global crude oil price (Crude oil price fell by approximately 2 percent to $47.377 per barrel as at June 16 2017). The ongoing forex intervention by the monetary authority also poses a challenge to foreign reserve conservation. Given the unimpressive performance of global oil prices in recent time, there is need to explore other areas with great potentials to generate foreign exchange earnings. Diversification of forex earnings remains the key to insulating foreign reserve against fluctuations in global commodity prices. The country can tap into solid minerals sector as alternative source of foreign exchange. Huge investment together with investor-friendly policies in solid minerals would make the sector attractive to investors.