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U.S. Inflation Rises at Fastest Rate in 3 Years

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Consumer Prices

U.S. cost of living climbed the most in three years in April, indicating inflation may be picking up gradually as gasoline and rents rise.

Consumer price index which measures inflation rose 0.4 percent in April, following a 0.1 percent advance in March. This took the year-on-year increase in inflation to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent recorded in March, a Labor Department report showed on Tuesday in Washington.

While core CPI, excluding food and energy costs rose 0.2 percent from a 0.1 percent gain in the previous month. Bringing its 12 months through April increase to 2.1 percent after gaining 2.2 percent in March.

The report also showed Americans paid more for food, medical care, tobacco, vehicle insurance, recreation, grooming and airfares in April.

“The combination of higher prices, housing gains and industrial production support the narrative of a second-quarter rebound in GDP, and will stir talks of the necessity of at least one Fed hike later this year,” said Jay Morelock, an economist at FTN Financial in New York

The current rise in prices in April is likely to be welcomed by Federal Reserve officials who last month said earlier declines in energy prices and falling prices of non-energy imports is the reason while they are below 2 percent inflation target.

With this 1.6 percent inflation report, the Fed is closer to its target than previously anticipated by economists.

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 long experience in the global financial market.

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Economy

Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases

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Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally

Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.

global Oil prices While the price of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil dipped from $40.97 per barrel it traded on Thursday to $38.78 on Friday.

Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.

“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.

Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.

As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.

This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.

In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.

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Economy

We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos

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Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff

The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.

Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.

The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.

Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.

“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.

The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.

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Economy

Gbajabiamila Says Nigeria Can’t Compete in AfCFTA With Weak Industries

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Nigeria Must Ramp up Industrialisation to Prevent Dumping by Other Nations

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the nation can not compete effectively in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with weak industrialisation and manufacturing activities.

Gbajabiamila disclosed this while receiving Adesoji Adesugba, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.

The details of the visit were made public on Thursday in a statement titled, “AFCFTA: House Speaker tasks Nigeria on industrialisation through free trade zones.”

Gbajabiamila was quoted as saying “We must act proactively so that we don’t become a dumping ground for other African nations.

“Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our export processing zones.

“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks. We will then be fully prepared for AfCFTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youths and enhance our foreign earnings.”

He added that the nation must as a matter of national emergency ramp up industrialisation through free trade zones and other effective means to compete with South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised economy and other African nations.

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