ABUJA: The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday said annual inflation in Nigeria slowed for a sixth month in July. According to data from the country’s bureau of statistics, inflation eased to 16.05 percent, but the rise in food inflation was the biggest in eight years, The rate of annual inflation was 0.05 percent lower than in June. A separate food price index showed inflation rose to 20.28 percent in July, up from 19.91 percent in June, the biggest year-on-year increase since 2009, the statistics office said. “The rise in the index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, meat, fish, oils and fats, coffee, tea and cocoa, potatoes yam and other tubers and vegetables,” the report said.
Nigeria – which has Africa’s biggest economy – is in its second year of recession and is contending with a currency crisis and dollar shortages brought on by low oil prices. General price levels in Africa’s biggest economy rose for the 12th straight month in January to its highest level in more than 11 years, as the West African nation battled an economic recession, a currency crisis and dollar shortages, brought on by low oil prices, its mainstay. The NBS said the third consecutive month of a decline in the headline rate represented “the effects of stabilizing prices in already high food and non-food prices”. The central bank has sold over $5 billion on the forward currency market since February in an attempt to improve dollar liquidity and narrow the spread between the official and the black market exchange rates. Black market rates have fallen as a shortage of dollars caused the naira to plummet.