Monday, September 19, 2011

Central Bank of Nigeria Hikes Rate 50bps to 9.25%

The Central Bank of Nigeria raised its monetary policy interest rate by 50 basis points to 9.25% from 8.75% previously.  The Bank also increased the key borrowing and lending rates by 50bps to 7.25% and 11.25% respectively.  Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, said: "Concerns remain about sustaining the current inflation trend. The anticipated high liquidity in the near future would have a bearing on inflation in the near future," further noting that "the fiscal stance continues to be expansionary. In addition there is the weight of structural factors such as the announced hikes in electricity tariffs and the expected removal of the petroleum subsidy."

Previously the Nigerian central bank increased the monetary policy rate by 75 basis points to 8.75% after increasing it by 50 basis points to 8.00% at its May meeting this year.  Nigeria reported annual headline inflation of 9.3% in August, down from 9.4% in July, 10.2% in June, 12.4% in May, 11.3% in April, and 12.8% in March, but within the Bank's inflation target of 10%.  The Nigerian government doubled the minimum wage to 18,000 Naira last month.  Nigeria reported annual GDP growth of 7.72% in the June quarter, after growing 7.43% in the March quarter, while the Bank is forecasting 2011 growth of 7.8%.  Nigeria's currency, the naira (NGN) last traded around 156.75 against the US dollar.


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