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 $1.23 billion in the month. The CBN’s continuous intervention along with affected foreign investment premised around political uncertainties, may have triggered the decline in reserves. Policy actions that relay a message of future political stability and conducive business environment amid politicking for 2019 elections is critical to sustaining short-medium term investment flows.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The Naira sustained its appreciation trajectory at the parallel market in the review week. Precisely, naira gained 13.3 percent (Week-on-Week) to exchange at N390/$ on March 24, 2017. Reduced pressure on the naira followed moderation in speculative activities as a result of increased forex sales and intervention by the CBN (daily intervention of $1.5 million at the interbank market.) The aim of CBN interventions (narrowing the gap between interbank and parallel market rates) seems to be on course with the continued appreciation of the naira at alternative markets. While current approach of the apex bank proves effective in improving international value of naira in the short term, however, it is expedient that the bank articulates clear and credible flexible exchange rate policy to sustain the momentum and enhance confidence in the forex market in the medium term. Nonetheless, the sustainability of the exchange rate gains is partly dependent on the prospect of crude oil price and production which is outside the purview of the monetary authorities.
Appropriation Act (Budget): Capital expenditure remarkably increased in 2016 relative to preceding year, on the account of the present governments renewed commitment to infrastructure development.