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Inflation hits 15.93% in March as Nigeria’s economic misfortune tarries

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The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics says the consumer price index, (CPI) which measures inflation increased to 15.92 percent on a year-on-year basis for March 2022.

The increase, according to NBS, is 2.25 percent points lower compared to 18.17 percent, the rate recorded in March 2021. This means that the headline inflation rate slowed down in March 2022 when compared to the same month in the previous year.

With the new CPI index, inflation in Nigeria has risen for a second straight month as prices for food and non-food items rose in Africa’s biggest economy,

On a month-on-month basis, however, the Headline Index increased to 1.74 percent in March 2022, this is 0.11 percent points higher than the rate recorded in February 2022 (1.63 percent).

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending March 2022 over the average previous twelve months period is 16.54 percent, this shows 0.19 percent points decrease compared to 16.73 percent recorded in February 2022.

The simple meaning of inflation is a “sustained upward movement in the overall price level of goods and services in an economy. Holding all else constant, this corresponds with a loss of purchasing power for a currency utilized within the economy”.

In March, there was a continued scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol in Nigeria, while the price of diesel has hit a record high at ₦900 per litre in filling stations. The hike in fuel price is perhaps a causative factor in Nigeria’s inflation.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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Botswana central bank predicts fall of inflation rates, maintains monetary policy

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Botswana’s central bank has predicted that the country’s inflation rate will gradually fall back within its target range by 2024.

The bank is predicting that inflation will fall back within the 3%-6% range in the third quarter of 2024. The prediction has made it keep its monetary policy rate unchanged at 2.65% on Thursday.

The bank’s governor, Moses Pelaelo while speaking at a news conference said “the domestic economy will continue to perform below capacity in the medium term and therefore not pose any inflationary pressures.”

The inflation rate in the Southern African country dipped to 13.1% year on year in October from 13.8% in September but is still far above the central bank’s 3%-6% preferred band.

“The drop in inflation in the past months is due to the dissipating effects of previous increases in administered prices,” Pelaelo said.

According to the World Bank, Botswana’s reliance on diamonds and a public sector-driven model makes the economy vulnerable to external shocks, as diamonds contribute over 80% of total exports and are a major source of fiscal revenues.

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