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February Data Shows Nigerian Annual Inflation Down For 13th Month | The Precision

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Annual inflation in Nigeria stood at 14.33 percent
in February, slowing for the 13th month in a row and driven by a
decline in the pace of food price increases, the statistics office said
on Wednesday.

The food price index showed inflation at
17.59 percent in February, compared with 18.92 percent in January. Core
inflation was 15.13 percent last month. 

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NBS head Yemi
Kale said in January he expects inflation to fall faster this year
compared with 2017, but that spending ahead of 2019 presidential
elections could stoke prices. 
Food price inflation has
remained in high double digits over the last year. Kale has said the
country is in a harvest period and output is increasing, which would
help lower food prices, but household consumption remains fragile after
the 2016 recession. 
A stand-off that has affected
Nigeria’s ability to set interest rates may also be coming to an end,
with the possibility of a rate-setting meeting as early as next Tuesday. 
Nigeria’s upper house of parliament has said it will
start screening new members of the central bank’s interest rate
committee after it held up some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees
in a political spat. 

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The bank has kept its main
interest rate at 14 percent for over a year now as it battles inflation
and seeks to attract foreign investors to support the naira currency. 
But
economists see the central bank this year adopting a more dovish stance
as inflation falls, and expect an interest rate cut in the coming
months.

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