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US Inflation Advances to 6-year High

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  • US Inflation Advances to 6-year High

US consumer prices grew in June at the fastest pace in more than six years, boosted by expensive gas, higher rent and car insurance.

The Consumer Price Index which measures inflation rose by 0.1 percent in June, below the 0.2 percent filed in May. But the yearly inflation jumped 2.9 percent, the highest annual gain in more than 6 years.

Core prices, excluding volatile food and energy items, climbed 0.2 percent in the month and 2.3 percent year-on-year.

Broad economic growth and supply challenges have bolstered consumer prices past the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target, after 6 years of sluggish price gain. Therefore, the Fed is expected to raise interest rates twice more this year.

While the Fed’s preferred gauge has gained at a slower rate, just up by 2.3 percent year-on-year, most economists expect the Fed to raise rates at least four times this year to keep inflation in check without hurting growth.

This was because while consumers and businesses were spending more during the month, firms in the trucking business were struggling to hire enough workers to keep goods moving. Resulting in higher shipping costs that will later be passed on to consumers and slow down spending if not checked.

In the same month, gas prices surged by 0.5 percent and have gained by 24.3 percent in the last 12 months. Pushing pump price to almost $3 a gallon, a development has sucked more money from consumers and estimated to have offset about one-third of the benefit from last year’s tax cut.

The US dollar remained fairly stable against the Euro common currency at 1.1682. Just as projected two weeks ago, a move above the 1.1740 will attract sellers interest and likely push price below that resistance level and towards the 1.1564 support.

EURUSDWeekly

The broad economic growth in the world’s largest economy, coupled with the widely expected rate hikes continued to offer support for the US dollar against haven currencies. However, uncertainty surrounding the tariffs remain a concern as investors and businesses strive to contain risk exposure due to market volatility.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Naira

Naira Exchange Rates; Monday, May 17, 2021

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Naira - Investors King

The Nigerian Naira opened the week at N484 to a United States Dollar on Monday at the parallel market. The local currency remained stable against the  British Pound at N680 and N581 to a single Euro.

Naira Black Market Exchange Rates

Morning * Midday** Evening *** Final Rates

Date USD GBP EURO YUAN Canadian Australian
NGN BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL
17/05/2021 480/484* 670/680* 576/581* 62/69 390/400 292/320
14/05/2021 480/484 670/680 576/581 62/69 390/400 292/320
13/05/2021 479/483 665/673 576/581 62/69 391/402 292/320
12/05/2021 479/483 665/673 576/581 62/69 395/400 292/320

Bureau De Change Naira Rates

Date USD GBP EURO
NGN BUY/SELL BUY/SELL BUY/SELL
17/05/21 475/482 670/677 575/584
15/05/21 475/482 670/677 575/584
14/05/21 475/482 670/677 575/584
13/05/21 475/482 665/674 573/584
12/05/21 475/482 665/674 573/584

Central Bank of Nigeria’s Official Naira Rates

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Forex

Nigeria’s Diaspora Remittances Decline by 28 Percent to $16.8 Billion in 2020

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US dollar - Investors King

Nigeria’s diaspora remittances declined by 27.7 percent or $4.65 billion from $21.45 billion in 2019 to $16.8 billion in 2020, according to the World Bank Migration and Development report.

A critical look into the report shows remittances to sub-Saharan Africa declined by 12.5 percent in 2020 to $42 billion. This was largely due to the 27.7 percent recorded by Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, which accounted for over 40 percent of the total remittance inflows into the region.

The report noted that once Nigeria’s remittance inflows into the region are excluded, remittances grew by 2.3 percent in 2020 with Zambia recording 37 per cent.

Followed by 16 percent from Mozambique, 9 percent from Kenya and 5 percent from Ghana.

The decline was a result of the global lockdown that dragged on the livelihood of most diaspora and unclear economic policies.

In an effort to change the tide, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced a Naira 4 Dollar Scheme to reverse the downward trend and boost diaspora inflows into the economy.

However, the reports revealed that other external factors like insecurities, global slow down, weak macroeconomic fundamentals, etc continue to discourage capital inflows.

On Tuesday, the CBN, in a new directive, announced it has halved dollar cash deposit from $10,000 to $5000 per month.

The move is geared towards discouraging overreliance on the United States Dollar and encourage local patronage and production.

Mr. Guy Czartoryski, Head of Research at Coronation Asset Management, had said in the report, “We looked at the top 10 banks and the breakdown of their deposits showed that 40 per cent of their deposits are in dollars and it is quite astonishing.”

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Forex

Deposit Money Banks Reduce Dollar-Cash Deposits by 50 Percent to $5000/Month

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United States Dollar - Investors King Ltd

Nigeria’s Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) have reduced the amount of United States Dollars that customers can deposit into their domiciliary accounts by 50 percent from $10,000 to $5,000 per month.

A bank official who preferred not to be mentioned confirmed the new policy to Investors King.

He, however, stated that the new policy does not apply to customers making electronic transfers as well as oil and gas companies and dollar payments into government accounts.

Checks revealed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the new policy to discourage the strong appetite for the United States Dollar, which has continued to rise.

A recent report has shown that despite persistent dollar scarcity, around 40 percent of bank deposits in the nation’s top ten banks were in dollars.

Mr. Guy Czartoryski, Head of Research at Coronation Asset Management, had said in the report, “We looked at the top 10 banks and the breakdown of their deposits showed that 40 per cent of their deposits are in dollars and it is quite astonishing.”

According to an analyst at ARM Securities Limited, Mr. Olamofe Olayemi, “this has to do with how much confidence the people have in the naira. Over time, we have seen significant depreciation in the naira.

“If you look at what happened in 2020, no one expected that the naira would be devalued twice in that year and even the outlook, this year is suggesting further depreciation in the naira.

“So, it makes sense to a lot of people to store their money in dollars. But, from the CBN standpoint, you agree with me that there is dollar scarcity.”

He, therefore, argued that the new policy might discourage financial inclusion and encourage cash outside the banking system.

Again, it is important for the flow of money to be captured in the system,” he said.

The CBN had extended its Naira 4 Dollar Scheme last week to further encourage dollar inflow into the Nigerian economy.

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