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Nigeria inflation quickens in August before rate decision


Nigeria inflation quickens in August ahead of rate decision Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A vendor arranges onions on the market at Mile 12 International Market in Lagos, Nigeria May 13, 2022. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja


By MacDonald Dzirutwe

LAGOS (Reuters) – Inflation in Nigeria rose for a seventh straight month to 20.52% in August, the statistics bureau said on Thursday before a central bank rate decision in a few days.

The central bank meets on Tuesday to select rates in Africa’s largest economy. It has previously said it could continue with rate hikes if inflation remained elevated.

Refinitiv data showed that year-on-year inflation in Nigeria remained at its highest level since September 2005. Monthly, the buyer price index rose 1.77% in August, in comparison to 1.82% in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

Food inflation quickened to 23.12% from 22.02% the prior month as Nigerians continued to handle higher charges for staples like rice and bread.

The cost of diesel has soared this season because of high global oil prices, which includes resulted in higher electricity charges for citizens, while a weakening naira currency on the parallel market has made some imports expensive.

Inflation has been around double digits in Nigeria since 2016, driven partly by the weakening naira.

“In Nigeria, inflation is fueled by several factors however the paramount factors are exchange rate pressure and price of diesel,” the Financial Derivatives Company said in an email to investors.

Nigerians check out the polls in February to select President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor, with rising inflation and hawaii of the economy viewed as major issues for voters.

Policy-makers in Nigeria maintain that persistent inflationary pressures are structural and largely imported.

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