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Recession receding as Nigeria’s inflation falls to 17.78% in February – NBS

Respite on recession seems underway as latest report on the nation’s presented by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday showed that Nigeria’s inflation rate has begun reversal trend as February figure showed drop to 17.78 percent from January figure of 18.72 percent.

The new figure can be said to be the lowest level in 15 months as signals of slower rise in general price levels begin to emerge.

The January rise to 18.72 percent was the 12th back to back monthly rise and its highest level in more than 11 years.

Analysts say with a bit of stable oil price, increased oil exploration in the Niger Delta due to emerging peace and the sustained momentary injection of forex by the apex bank, early exit from the economic recession may be achieved before the end of the year.

Already, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which had been under pressure to narrow the gap between the official and black market rates, has devalued the naira for consumers, offering to sell them dollars at about half the premium the black market charges.

The lender of the last resort had also increased dollar sales in recent weeks to importers to try to boost the naira. Nigeria has limited manufacturing capacity and depends on imports for local consumption.

However, a separate food index showed inflation at 18.53 percent from 17.82 percent in January, the statistics office said in a report, pushed up by the rise in food staples such as bread, cereal and meat, while drink prices slowed.

NBS was of the speculation that inflation may drop to 15.74 percent at year-end and 12.42 percent in 2018.

Such feat will definitely mean that Nigeria is on its way out of recession all things being equal.

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