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Forex

US Retail Sales Boost Economic Outlook

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  • US Retail Sales Boost Economic Outlook 

Consumer spending surged in June as households increased spending on automobiles and a range of other items, supporting economists’ projection for broad growth in the second quarter.

Retail sales increased 0.5 per cent in June, lower than the upwardly revised 1.3 per cent recorded in May, the Commerce Department reported on Monday. May’s gain was the biggest since September 2017.

On a yearly basis, retail sales increased by 6.6 per cent.

Core retail sales, excluding automobiles and food items, were unchanged in June after the revised 0.8 per cent gain filed in May.

While the strong data indicates strengthening economy, it also supports federal reserve economic stance. Therefore, together with the strong job market and rising inflation, the Federal Reserve is likely to keep raising interest rates as widely projected.

“This puts the economy in a very, very good position as it starts its tenth year of forward movement in July,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “This strengthening economy gives the Federal Reserve the green light to raise rates a third time this year at their September meeting.”

In addition to the strong retail numbers, trade deficit improved slightly in April and May, further supporting the expectations of a strong GDP reading in the second quarter. Another sign that growth is broad-based.

Consumer spending continued to support growth despite the ongoing trade war.

The US dollar gained slightly against emerging currencies, rising to 0.7418 against the Australian dollar.

AUDUSDDaily

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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