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Nigeria’s inflation slows to lowest rate in 30 months

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FILE PHOTO: A towel with a print of the Nigerian naira is displayed for sale at a street market in the central business district in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye/File Photo

Nigeria’s consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in 2 1/2 years in June as food costs climbed the least since March 2016.

The annual consumer inflation rate was 11.2 percent from a year earlier, compared with 11.6 percent in May, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in an emailed report Monday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey was for 10.9 percent. Prices rose 1.2 percent in the month.

The inflation rate fell even as the Nigerian government started releasing funding for its record 2018 budget of 9.12 trillion naira ($25 billion), which some analysts had anticipated would cause prices to rise.

Price pressures are still expected to kick in on growing election-related spending ahead of February’s federal and state vote, with President Muhammadu Buhari seeking a second mandate.

The central bank’s monetary policy committee will tomorrow announce its decision on its main interest rate, which it has held at 14 percent since July 2016 to curb inflation.

The bank targets an inflation rate of 6 percent to 9 percent and has signaled rate cuts when price growth moves closer to this band.

Food prices increased 12.98 percent in June from a year earlier, a seventh straight month of deceleration, the agency said.


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