February 11, 2020

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 04)

Consumer prices for the month of December 2019 increased by 0.13 percentage points from the preceding month which stood at 11.85% 1. This rate was 0.54% percentage points higher than December 2018. The rise in inflation was driven by a rise across all components, with the core sub-index growing by 0.34% to 9.33% and food sub-index by 0.19% to 14.67% over a month. The rise in inflation was driven in part by an increase in access to credit, as indicated in the Central Bank of Nigeria Credit Condition Survey. The survey conducted notes that there was an increase in supply of secured loans to households which was expected to increase in Q1 2020 as well as a rise in overall credit supply to the corporate sector2. Inflation is expected to rise in the coming months given that the closure of the Nigeria-Benin border has driven food prices upwards resulting in cost-push inflation. In addition, the CBN’s directive to commercial banks to give out 60% of their deposits as loans to the real sector could potentially lead to demand-pull inflation. Given that food inflation is at the core of the rising inflation, initiatives should be put in place by both state and non-state actors to increase the productivity of farmers in order to transition farmers from smallholder to large-scale farming. 

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Africa Economic Update (Issue 2)

Business activities in Africa slightly improved in February 2017 albeit at a slow rate. Sales Managers Index (SMI) for Africa an assessment of business condition in Pan-African Economy increased by 0.4 index points from 52.2 points in January 2017 to 52.6 points in February 2017. Sub-Saharan African countries experienced better business activities than North Africa in the review period. The two largest economies in the region, Nigeria (48.5 index points) and South Africa (49.2 Index points) registered contraction in the review period as Nigeria remained in recession while high unemployment remained a problem in South Africa. The growth in SMI recorded in the review period is driven by improvement in business confidence and sales price which outweighed the fall in other components market growth, sales output and staffing level.