The monetary policy committee provided policy parameters at the first meeting for the 2019 fiscal year, held on 21st and 22nd January, 20191. As presumed, all parameters were left unchanged at their current levels: MPR at 14 percent, CRR at 22.5 percent, liquidity ratio at 30 percent, and asymmetric corridor of +200/-500 basis points around the MPR. This is the 14th consecutive time the MPC will retain all parameters, and the apex bank is justifying its stance by insisting that the economy has remained on a noteworthy track based on prevailing positive macroeconomic performances2. The committee’s optimistic outlook is likely hinged on, among other laudable achievements, the acclaimed return of foreign investors’ confidence and convergence of the foreign exchange market – the CBN has relentlessly upheld the value of the Naira despite perceptions of election risks on exchange rates. In the coming months, changes in monetary policy parameters will, however, depend on the macroeconomic performance after the elections as well as the objective to hit the CBN’s inflation target of 6 to 9 percent.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Available data from NBS shows that Aviation sub-sector of the transport sector grew by o.15 percent in real terms in 2017Q2 down from 1.53 percent in 2017Q15. The decline is likely attributable to fall in year-on-year passenger and aircraft movement in the sub-sector, following increased air fare charges.
Available reports from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), suggests a significant reduction in the cost incurred to produce one barrel of crude oil for the past two years. Specifically, the cost of production reduced by 71 percent from $78 as at August 2015, to $23 per barrel as at August 2017. This may be attributable to moderations in operational expenditures, following repairs and restructuring in the oil region.
Recent data on Consumer Price Index (CPI) indicates significant increase in general price level for the sixth consecutive month. Headline inflation increased by 0.9 percentage points from 15.6 per cent recorded in May to 16.5 percent in June the highest rate recorded since October 2005 (an 11-year high). The core sub-index increased from 15.1 percent to 16.2 percent while the food sub-index stood at 15.3 percent, an increase of 0.4 percent from the preceding month of May. Higher prices of domestic/imported food and other items, as well as increased energy cost were major drivers of the increase. This is probably explained by the exchange-rate pass-through, given the significant depreciation of the naira.