Latest data from the CBN shows that Nigeria’s external reserves fell significantly in August 2018. As at the end of July, the reserve stood at $47.11 billion; it dropped to $45.83 billion by August 23– losing as much as $1.23 billion in the month. The CBN’s continuous intervention along with affected foreign investment premised around political uncertainties, may have triggered the decline in reserves. Policy actions that relay a message of future political stability and conducive business environment amid politicking for 2019 elections is critical to sustaining short-medium term investment flows.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
In the third quarter of 2017, NBS report show that Nigeria recorded a marginal quarter-overquarter and significant Year-on-Year increases in the value (in Naira terms) of merchandise (goods) foreign trade. At N5.92 trillion, total merchandise trade increased 3.9 percent over the preceding quarter and 23.9 percent over the corresponding quarter in 2016. Specifically, with exports rising QOQ by 15.2 percent to N3.57 trillion and imports shrinking by 9.4 percent to N2.35 trillion, trade balance amounted to a surplus of N1.22 trillion in 2017Q3- a substantial 142 percentage increase (QOQ) in trade surplus value.
The monthly monetary survey by the CBN shows a decline in money supply for the month of August 2017, relative to July 2017. Narrow and broad money supply dropped by 4.2% and 1.5% to N9,891 billion and N21,851 billion respectively. The continuous monetary contraction witnessed over the past months may be associated with aggressive sale of treasury bills by the CBN through open market operations. This act is capable of mopping up liquidity in the economy, reduce loanable funds in the banking system, and constrain the easing of lending rates in the near term.
Nigerian Naira depreciated by 1.2 percent at the parallel foreign exchange market between April 7, 2017 and April 14, 2017. The naira exchanged at N410/$ as against N405/$ the previous week. Despite the CBNs weekly dollar sales to BDCs ($20,000 to each BDC in the review week) and spot market sales of $100 million to SMEs, the nairas depreciated in the week. This may likely be attributable to speculative motives (on the basis that speculators likely anticipate that the CBN forex interventions may not be sustainable).