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FG Records N397bn Deficit in May

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  • FG Records N397bn Deficit in May

The Federal Government recorded N397 billion deficit in May due to slowdown in economic activities, which occasioned 48 per cent shortfall in federally collected revenue for the month.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, disclosed this in its economic report for May released weekend. The report, among other things, revealed that federally collected revenue for the month was 48 per cent lower than the budgeted estimate for the month and 13.4 per cent lower than what was recorded in the previous month.

This, according to the apex bank, was due to slowdown in economic activities, which occasioned 21.5 per cent and 2.4 per cent decline in oil revenue and non-oil revenue respectively during the month.

The report stated: “The estimated Federal Government retained revenue for the month of May 2017, at N185.58 billion, was below the monthly budget estimate of N449.60 billion by 58.7 per cent. It was also lower than the preceding month’s receipt of N221.48 by 16.2 per cent.

“The estimated total expenditure of the Federal Government, at N583.32 billion, fell short of the 2017 provisional monthly budget estimate by 9.7 per cent.

“It, however, rose above the level in April 2017 by 3.0 per cent. Recurrent and capital expenditure accounted for 61.0 per cent and 34.3 per cent, respectively, while transfers accounted for the balance of 4.7 per cent of the total expenditure.”

“Overall, the fiscal operations of the Federal Government resulted in an estimated deficit of N397.74 billion, compared with the 2017 provisional monthly budget deficit of N196.40 billion.

“Federally-collected revenue (gross) in May 2017 was estimated at N458.42 billion. This was below the monthly budget estimate of N894.76 billion by 48.8 per cent. It was also lower than the receipt in April 2017 by 13.4 per cent. The fall relative to the monthly budget estimate was attributed, largely, to the short fall in both oil and non-oil revenue components.

“Gross oil receipts, at N238.09 billion or 51.9 per cent of total revenue, was lower than the monthly budget estimate of N449.62 billion by 47.0 per cent. It was also below the April collection of N303.43 billion by 21.5 per cent. The decline in oil revenue relative to the monthly budget estimate was attributed to the short fall in revenue from crude-oil and gas exports and PPT/Royalties.

“At N220.33 billion or 48.1 per cent of total revenue, non-oil revenue was below the monthly budget estimate of N445.14 billion by 50.5 per cent. It was also below the April collection of N225.71 by 2.4 per cent.

The poor performance relative to the budget was due to the effect of the slowdown in general economic activities which impacted negatively on most of the components of the non-oil revenue.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Economy

Goldman Sachs Urges Bold Rate Hike as Naira Weakens and Inflation Soars

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

As Nigeria grapples with soaring inflation and a faltering naira, Goldman Sachs is calling for a substantial increase in interest rates to stabilize the economy and restore investor confidence.

The global investment bank’s recommendation comes ahead of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) key monetary policy decision, set to be announced on Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs economists, including Andrew Matheny, argue that incremental rate adjustments will not be sufficient to address the country’s deepening economic challenges.

“Another 50 or 100 basis points is certainly not going to move the needle in the eyes of an investor,” Matheny stated. “Nigeria needs a bold, decisive move to curb inflation and regain investor trust.”

The CBN, under the leadership of Governor Olayemi Cardoso, is anticipated to raise interest rates by 75 basis points to 27% in its upcoming meeting.

This would mark a continuation of the aggressive tightening campaign that began in May 2022, which has seen rates increase by 14.75 percentage points.

Despite this, inflation has remained stubbornly high, highlighting the need for more substantial measures.

The current economic landscape is marked by severe challenges. The naira’s depreciation has led to higher import costs, fueling inflation and eroding consumer purchasing power.

The CBN has attempted to ease the currency’s scarcity by selling dollars to local foreign exchange bureaus, but these efforts have yet to stabilize the naira significantly.

“Developments since the last meeting have definitely been hawkish,” noted Matheny. “The naira has weakened further, exacerbating inflationary pressures. The CBN’s policy needs to reflect this reality more aggressively.”

In response to the persistent inflation and naira weakness, analysts are urging the central bank to implement a more coherent strategy to manage the currency and inflation.

James Marshall of Promeritum Investment Management LLP suggested that the CBN should actively participate in the foreign exchange market to mitigate the naira’s volatility and restore market confidence.

“The central bank needs to be a more consistent and active participant in the forex market,” Marshall said. “A clear strategy to address the naira’s weakness is crucial for stabilizing the economy.”

The CBN’s decision will come as the country faces a critical period. With inflation expected to slow due to favorable comparisons with the previous year and new measures to reduce food costs, including a temporary import duty waiver on wheat and corn, there is hope that the economic situation may improve.

However, analysts anticipate that the CBN will need to implement one final rate hike to solidify inflation’s slowdown and restore positive real rates.

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Economy

Currency Drop Spurs Discount Dilemma in Cairo’s Markets

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Egyptian pound

Under Cairo’s scorching sun, the bustling streets reveal an unexpected twist in dramatic price drops on big-ticket items like cars and appliances.

Following March’s significant currency devaluation, prices for these goods have plunged, leaving consumers hesitant to make purchases amid hopes for even better deals.

Mohamed Yassin, a furniture store vendor, said “People just inquire about prices. They’re afraid to buy in case prices drop further.” This cautious consumer behavior is posing challenges for Egypt’s consumer-driven economy.

In March, Egyptian authorities devalued the pound by nearly 40% to stabilize an economy teetering on the edge. While such moves often lead to inflation spikes, Egypt’s case has been unusual.

Unlike other nations like Nigeria or Argentina, where costs soared post-devaluation, Egypt is witnessing falling prices for high-value items.

Previously inflated prices were driven by a black market in foreign currency, where importers secured dollars at exorbitant rates, passing costs onto consumers.

Now, with the pound stabilizing and foreign currency more accessible, retailers are struggling to sell inventory at pre-devaluation prices.

Despite price reductions, the overall consumer market remains sluggish. The automotive sector has seen a near 75% drop in sales compared to pre-crisis levels.

Major brands like Hyundai and Volkswagen have slashed prices by about a quarter, yet buyers remain cautious.

The economic strain is not limited to luxury items. Everyday expenses continue to rise, albeit more slowly, with anticipated hikes in electricity and fuel prices adding to the pressure.

Experts highlight a period of adjustment as both consumers and traders navigate the volatile exchange-rate environment. Mohamed Abu Basha, head of research at EFG Hermes, explains, “The market is taking time to absorb recent fluctuations.”

Meanwhile, businesses face declining sales, impacting their ability to manage operating costs. Yassin’s store has offered discounts of up to 50% yet remains quiet. “We’ve tried everything, but everyone is waiting,” he laments.

The devaluation has spurred a shift in economic dynamics. Inflation has eased, but the pace varies across sectors. Clothing and transportation costs are up, while food prices fluctuate.

With the phasing out of fuel subsidies and potential electricity price increases, Egyptians are bracing for further financial strain. The recent 300% rise in subsidized bread prices adds another layer of concern.

The situation underscores the balancing act between maintaining consumer confidence and attracting foreign investment.

Economists suggest potential stimulus measures, such as lowering interest rates or increasing public spending, to boost demand.

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Economy

MPC Meeting on July 22-23 to Tackle Inflation as Rates Set to Rise Again

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Interbank rate

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is set to convene on July 22-23, 2024, amid soaring inflation and economic challenges in Nigeria.

Led by Olayemi Cardoso, the committee has already increased interest rates three times this year, raising them by 750 basis points to 26.25 percent.

Nigeria’s annual inflation rate climbed to 34.19 percent in June, driven by rising food prices. Despite these pressures, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) projects that inflation will moderate to around 21.40 percent by year-end.

Market analysts expect a further rate hike as the committee seeks to rein in inflation. Nabila Mohammed from Chapel Hill Denham anticipates a 50–75 basis point increase.

Similarly, Coronation Research forecasts a potential rise of 50 to 100 basis points, given the recent uptick in inflation.

The food inflation rate reached 40.87 percent in June, exacerbated by security issues in key agricultural regions.

Essential commodities such as millet, garri, and yams have seen significant price hikes, impacting household budgets and savings.

As the MPC meets, the National Bureau of Statistics is set to release data on selected food prices for June, providing further insights into the inflationary trends affecting Nigerians.

The upcoming MPC meeting will be crucial in determining the trajectory of Nigeria’s monetary policy as the government grapples with economic instability.

The focus remains on balancing inflation control with economic growth to ensure stability in Africa’s largest economy.

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