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Crude Oil Prices to Average $53/bbl in 2017

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Petrol - Investors King

The World Bank has projected that crude oil prices would average $52-$53 per barrel (bbl) this year- an increase of 24 per cent over 2016 – owing to the strong demands.

The Bretton Woods institution which gave the forecast in its October 2017 issue of Africa’s Pulse, one of its publications, noted that while the prices of crude oil had been under downward pressure throughout the year, the prices had recovered.

According to the bank, “After dropping to $46 per barrel (bbl) in mid-year amid a rebound in US crude oil production, crude oil prices have recovered. Crude oil prices rose in the third quarter owing to

strong demand and improved compliance by Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers with production agreements.

The World Bank explained that for the next year and beyond, the oil price path will reflect the pace of demand, the degree of decline of stocks, and production restraint among OPEC and non-OPEC producers. It, however, indicated that, the global market was unlikely to tighten significantly because of large projected increases in US shale production

The World Bank Africa’s Pulse, which is an analysis of issues shaping Africa’s economic future, recalled that, “After a marked slowdown in 2016, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa strengthened in 2017, as global activity and trade gained momentum, commodity prices recovered, and global financing conditions remained favourable. Growth in the region”, it added, was expected to “pick up from a two-decade low of 1.3 percent in 2016 to 2.4 per cent in 2017, slightly below the April forecast of 2.6 percent. Crude oil prices rebounded toward the end of 2017 on strengthening demand and falling stocks, and are projected to be 24 per cent higher than in 2016.”

The bank alluded to several factors that prevented a stronger recovery in the region in 2017. “Nigeria and South Africa exited recession in the second quarter of 2017 as expected. A recovery in the oil sector, partly due to a decline in militants’ attacks on oil pipelines, helped Nigeria pull out of five consecutive quarters of negative growth but the rebound was softer than expected. Growth in Nigeria in 2017 is now expected to come in at 1.0 per cent, 0.2 percentage point below the forecast in the April 2017 issue of Africa’s Pulse.”

Nevertheless, it said, “The increase in oil production was below projections, due to maintenance work, and growth in the non-oil sector has remained subdued.”

However, Africa’s Pulse, a report from the Office of the Chief Economist for the Africa Region, acknowledged that, “Currencies in the region have stabilised in real effective terms. In oil exporters, pressures on the exchange rate have eased due to higher oil prices, increased oil production, and a weaker dollar.”

However, the spread between the parallel and official rates has persisted in Nigeria and Angola, reflecting continued foreign exchange restrictions, the bank indicated.

While in April 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced a new investor and exporter window, which has helped improve businesses’ access to foreign exchange, the report also noted that, in Angola, exchange rate controls introduced in the wake of the collapse of oil prices in 2014 had remained in place.

It acknowledged that, “The recent increase in export receipts has helped stabilise the level of reserves in the region, although reserves remain low.

“The median level of reserves in the region is expected to account for 3 months of imports in 2017, the same as in 2016, but below the peak of 4 months of imports in 2014. In several countries, the level of reserves provided less than one month of imports coverage.

“The prospects of stabilising commodity prices, together with financial inflows, should enable commodity exporters to accumulate international reserves, but the low import coverage will weigh on the ability of central banks to continue managing their currencies,” it stated.

Stating that, the slowdown in inflation was more gradual in Nigeria, the World Bank Africa’s Pulse said, “Over the same period, consumer price inflation in Nigeria fell from 18.6 to 16 per cent, remaining unchanged at that level for several months.”

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.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Growth Forecast Lowered to 3% for 2025, Higher than Most Emerging Markets

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IMF global - Investors King

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a 3% growth rate for Nigeria in 2025, slightly down from the 3.1% forecasted for 2024.

Despite this slight decline, Nigeria’s projected growth remains higher than that of many emerging markets as detailed in the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday.

In comparison, South Africa’s economy is expected to grow by 1.2% in 2025, up from 0.9% this year. Brazil’s growth is projected at 2.4% from 2.1% in 2024, and Mexico’s growth forecast stands at 1.6% for 2025, down from 2.2% in 2024.

However, India is anticipated to see a robust growth of 6.5% in 2025, although this is slightly lower than the 7% forecast for 2024.

The IMF’s projections come as Nigeria undertakes significant monetary reforms. The Central Bank of Nigeria has been working on clearing the foreign exchange backlog, and the federal government recently removed petrol subsidies.

These reforms aim to stabilize the economy, but the country continues to grapple with high inflation and increasing poverty levels, which pose challenges to sustained economic growth.

Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole is expected to see an improvement in growth, with projections of 4.1% in 2025, up from 3.7% in 2024. This regional outlook indicates a modest recovery as economies adjust to global economic conditions.

The IMF report underscores the need for cautious monetary policy. It recommends that central banks in emerging markets avoid easing their monetary stances too early to manage inflation risks and sustain economic growth.

In cases where inflation risks have materialized, central banks are advised to remain open to further tightening of monetary policy.

“Central banks should refrain from easing too early and should be prepared for further tightening if necessary,” the report stated. “Where inflation data encouragingly signal a durable return to price stability, monetary policy easing should proceed gradually to allow for necessary fiscal consolidation.”

The IMF also highlighted the importance of avoiding fiscal slippages, noting that fiscal policies may need to be significantly tighter than previously anticipated in some countries to ensure economic stability.

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Nigeria’s Inflation Rises to 34.19% in June Amid Rising Costs

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Food Inflation - Investors King

Nigeria’s headline inflation rate surged to 34.19% in June 2024, a significant increase from the 33.95% recorded in May.

This rise highlights the continuing pressures on the nation’s economy as the cost of living continues to climb.

On a year-on-year basis, the June 2024 inflation rate was 11.40 percentage points higher than the 22.79% recorded in June 2023.

This substantial increase shows the persistent challenges faced by consumers and businesses alike in coping with escalating prices.

The month-on-month inflation rate for June 2024 was 2.31%, slightly up from 2.14% in May 2024. This indicates that the pace at which prices are rising continues to accelerate, compounding the economic strain on households and enterprises.

A closer examination of the divisional contributions to the inflation index reveals that food and non-alcoholic beverages were the primary drivers, contributing 17.71% to the year-on-year increase.

Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels followed, adding 5.72% to the inflationary pressures.

Other significant contributors included clothing and footwear (2.62%), transport (2.23%), and furnishings, household equipment, and maintenance (1.72%).

Sectors such as education, health, and miscellaneous goods and services also played notable roles, contributing 1.35%, 1.03%, and 0.57% respectively.

The rural and urban inflation rates also exhibited marked increases. Urban inflation reached 36.55% in June 2024, a rise of 12.23 percentage points from the 24.33% recorded in June 2023.

On a month-on-month basis, urban inflation was 2.46% in June, slightly higher than the 2.35% in May 2024. The twelve-month average for urban inflation stood at 32.08%, up 9.70 percentage points from June 2023’s 22.38%.

Rural inflation was similarly impacted, with a year-on-year rate of 32.09% in June 2024, an increase of 10.71 percentage points from June 2023’s 21.37%.

The month-on-month rural inflation rate rose to 2.17% in June, up from 1.94% in May 2024. The twelve-month average for rural inflation reached 28.15%, compared to 20.76% in June 2023.

The rising inflation rates pose significant challenges for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as it grapples with balancing monetary policy to rein in inflation while supporting economic growth.

The ongoing pressures from high food prices and energy costs necessitate urgent policy interventions to stabilize the economy and protect the purchasing power of Nigerians.

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Inflation to Climb Again in June, but at a Reduced Pace, Predicts Meristem

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Nigeria's Inflation Rate - Investors King

As Nigeria awaits the release of the National Bureau of Statistics’ report on June 2024 inflation, economic analysts project that while inflation will continue its upward trajectory, the pace of increase will moderate.

This comes after inflation rose to a 28-year high of 33.95% in May, up from 33.69% in April.

Meristem, a leading financial services company, has forecasted that June’s headline inflation will rise to 34.01%, a slight increase from May’s figure.

The firm attributes this persistent inflationary pressure to ongoing structural challenges in agriculture, high transportation costs, and the continuous depreciation of the naira.

Experts have highlighted several factors contributing to the inflationary trend. Insecurity in food-producing regions and high transportation costs have disrupted supply chains, while the depreciation of the naira has increased importation costs.

In May, food inflation grew at a slower pace, reaching 40.66%, but challenges in the agricultural sector, such as the infestation of tomato leaves, have led to higher prices for staples like tomatoes and yams.

Meristem predicts that food inflation will persist in June, driven by these lingering challenges. Increased demand during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration and rising importation costs are also expected to keep food prices elevated.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile items like food and energy, was at 27.04% in May. Meristem projects it to rise to 27.30% in June.

The firm notes that higher transportation costs and the depreciation of the naira will continue to push core inflation up.

However, they also anticipate a month-on-month moderation in the core index due to a relatively stable naira exchange rate during June, compared to a more significant depreciation in May.

Cowry Assets Management Limited has projected an even higher headline inflation figure of 34.25% for June, citing similar concerns.

The firm notes that over the past year, food prices in Nigeria have soared due to supply chain disruptions, currency depreciation, and climate change impacts on agriculture.

This has made basic staples increasingly unaffordable for many Nigerians, stretching household budgets.

As inflation continues to rise, analysts believe the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will likely hike the benchmark lending rate again.

The CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 650 basis points this year, bringing it to 26.25% as of May 2024.

At a recent BusinessDay CEO Forum, CBN Governor Dr. Olayemi Cardoso emphasized the MPC’s commitment to tackling inflation, stating that while the country needs growth, controlling inflation is paramount.

“The MPC is not oblivious to the fact that the country does need growth. If these hikes hadn’t been done at the time, the naira would have almost tipped over, so it helped to stabilize the naira. Interest rates are not set by the CBN governor but by the MPC committee composed of independent-minded people. These are people not given to emotion but to data. The MPC clarified that the major issue is taming inflation, and they would do what is necessary to tame it,” Cardoso said.

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