Consumer Price Index, the measure for inflation rate, declined (Year-on-Year) for the fourteenth consecutive month in March 2018. Headline inflation dropped to 13.34 percent1 – representing a marginal 0.99 percentage-points decrease, and lowest inflation rate in two years. The sub-indices moved in tandem with headline inflation as food inflation fell from 17.59 percent to 16.08 percent, while core inflation moderated to 11.20 percent, down slightly from 11.70 percent. The year-on-year decline is attributable to base effects of higher prices in corresponding month of 2017. Additionally, stable exchange rate moderated the impact of imported consumer goods prices2. Going forward, to stimulate further decline in both food and core inflation rates, it is necessary to promote investment in the agriculture sector as well as to foster policies that promote forex reserve growth and exchange rate stability.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Nigerias external reserve rose to its 19-month high in the week under review (March 3, 2017 to March 10, 2017). Precisely, the reserve improved by a daily average-percentage-increase of 0.21 percent, from $29.79 billion on March 3, 2017 to $30.04 billion on March 10, 2017 the highest level since August 2015. The rising reserve at the backdrop of steady revenue from improved domestic crude oil production/prices and forex inflows from rising exports, has reduced pressure on the Naira the naira has witnessed marginal but steady appreciation. While the recent improvement in oil revenue is a welcome development, concerted efforts need be made to develop the Non-oil sector so as to mitigate future oil revenue shocks.
Export and its Components: In 2015 and 2016Q1, overall export earnings declined significantly to a record low of less than $3000 million in 2016Q1, as against the peak of above $10,000 million in 2008
Recent report in the media highlights that Nigerias GDP has dropped to $296 billion in 2016, in contrast to the $481 billion recorded in 20151 and Nigeria has lost its position as Africas largest economy to South Africa. This conclusion was based on the computation of GDP with current naira-dollar exchange rate. However, while the naira has significantly lost its official value since the adoption of a flexible exchange rate, estimating GDP merely with a single exchange rate figure (rather than its yearly average) cannot be regarded as an appropriate method to conclude on Africas largest economy.