Inflation rate rose in December 2018 for the second consecutive month to 11.44 percent, 0.16 percentage points higher than the 11.28 percent recorded in November 2018.1 The rise in inflation was driven by the food component of inflation which increased to 13.56 percent from 13.30 percent within the same period. Further disaggregated data shows that the highest increments were recorded in the price of basic food items such as bread, cereals, fish, meat, potatoes, yam and other tubers. Core inflation experienced no increment from the previous month, stagnating at 9.80 percent. Seasonal demand effect is closely linked to the rise in inflation given that the holiday season is associated with a rise in the price of food items. In the coming month, we expect the inflation rate to continue on the upward trend considering the increase in election-related spending. The current monetary policy parameters should remain unchanged until a clearer picture of the effect of the election on economic indicators is known
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Recently released survey report by the CBN shows an improvement in the availability of secured and unsecured banks credit and loans to households, corporate and small businesses in 2017Q3, and an optimistic outlook in 2017Q4. Among other indices, availability of overall secured and unsecured lending to households improved from -6.2 and -19.2 to -0.9 and -15.0 index points respectively; although still in the negative territory. Index for availability of credit to small businesses improved from -20.1 to -6.7. Lenders and respondents noted that anticipation of a brighter economic outlook, favorable liquidity positions, market share objectives and higher appetite for risk were major factors behind the increase.
Global oil price edged upwards in the review week. International crude benchmark, Brent, rose week-on-week by 3.1 percent to $50 per barrel as at July 21, 20173 a level it had not attained since June. The remarkable gains followed demand-side progress earlier statistics from China showed increase in crude imports, indicating prospects of higher demand. This was also complimented by the huge drop in US domestic crude production (Crude reserves fell by 4.7 million barrels). If the trend is sustained, Nigeria could record further rise in its Gross Federally Collected Revenue. Nevertheless, there remains a need for Nigeria to overcome the challenge of harnessing its oil and gas resources by making strategic policy choices andensuring coordination in policy implementation to minimize macroeconomic distortions.
Inflation rate rose slightly to 9.4 percent in November 2015 from 9.3 percent in the previous month. This rise is attributed to price increase in Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, and Transportation costs which extends from shortages of petrol across the country. The food sub-index grew by 0.2 percentage points to 10. 1 percent while, the Core sub-index declined by 0.2 percentage points to 8.7 percent within the period. The inflationary up-tick points to the need to curtail the rising food prices by increasing the supply of petrol in the country.