For the 12th consecutive period, the Monetary Policy Committee voted to retain all rates at the end of the policy meeting held on July 23-24, 2018 – MPR at 14 percent, CRR at 22.5 percent, Liquidity ratio at 30 percent and asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 around the MPR1. A review of laudable developments in key macroeconomic indicators and positive economic growth in the first half of 2018 informed the committee’s stance to hold all rates. However, the committee noted constraints to economic growth outlook in the second half of 2018, especially slow and irregular implementation of the 2018 expansionary fiscal budget that would derail its liquidity impact, as well as possible external shocks. Going forward, there is need for a standardized budgetary calendar that should be adhered to mandatorily in order to guide public and private sector investment plan and foster economic stability
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Recently released data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that there was significant increase in Nigerias total merchandise trade for 2016Q3. Basically, the total merchandise trade increased (quarter-on-quarter) by 16.29 percent to N4, 722 billion in 2016Q3;owing to 29.1 percent increase in exports and 6.2 percent rise in imports. Oil exports increased by 31 percent to N1, 943 billion, while non-oil exports increased by 20.5 percent to N440 billion. However, on the aggregate, Nigeria recorded yet another trade deficit of N104 billion, indicating continuous higher imports relative to exports. Overall, though there is improvement in the performance of non-oil sector, however, this is insufficient to effectively complement the loss in oil trade sustained since the beginning of oil price crash. This suggests that diversification into non-oil sector may not be able to rescue the economy in the short term. However, while the diversification efforts should be sustained, eliminating hurdles in oil production may be instrumental to higher exports, especially as oil price increase is gaining momentum.