November 9, 2014 / 5:55 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Nigeria consumer inflation eases to 8.1 percent y/y in Oct

* Inflation dips in Oct on lower food prices

* CPI still within cbank target band of 6 to 9 percent

* Nigeria attracted $6.5 billion in foreign investments in Q3 (Adds details, quote, background)

ABUJA, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s consumer price inflation eased for the second consecutive month to 8.1 percent in October, from 8.3 percent the previous month, driven by lower food prices, the statistics bureau said on Sunday.

Food prices, the biggest contributor to headline inflation, declined to 9.3 percent last month, down from 9.7 percent in the previous month.

“In October, the pace of increase in food prices eased for the second consecutive month  representing the lowest price increase since March, 2014. The highest price increases were recorded in the coffee, tea and cocoa; fish, dairy, and fruit groups,” the bureau of statistics said in a statement.

Consumer inflation in Africa’s largest economy and top oil exporter rose from 8 percent in May, creeping up from a five-year low of 7.8 percent last October as food prices rose. The central bank has said it wants to maintain inflation within a target of between 6 to 9 percent.

Analysts welcomed the drop in inflation, and said the bank will take it into account at the next monetary policy meeting in two week time, with a focus on the weakening naira currency, which has lost 6.4 percent so far this year, pressured by the decline in global oil prices.

The statistics office said Nigeria attracted $6.5 billion in foreign investments in the third quarter, up 48.1 percent from a year ago, with more than half of inflows going into the stock market.

“Equity remained the largest contributor to capital imported in the portfolio investment sector, with a value of $3.77 billion. It represented 57.6 percent of all capital imported in the quarter,” the statistics office said in its report.

Nigeria’s main stock index shed 11.5 percent in one week to 33,225 points on Friday as pressure on the local naira currency persisted owing to the decline in the oil price, unnerving foreign investors, the major buyers of local shares. (Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Bate Felix and Rosalind Russell)

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