January 16, 2018 / 8:32 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Nigerian inflation slowed for 11th month in Dec, stats chief says

(Adds details, background)

ABUJA, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Annual inflation in Nigeria slowed for the 11th month in a row in December, to 15.37 percent from 15.90 percent a month before, the head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Yemi Kale also said on his personal Twitter account that a separate food price index showed inflation at 19.42 percent in December, down from 20.30 percent in November.

In October, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said he expected inflation rates to fall at a faster pace and reach the high single-digits by the middle of 2018.

The bank has kept its main interest rate at 14 percent for over a year now as it battles inflation and seeks to attract foreign investors to support the naira currency.

The government wants to see rates come down to lower its borrowing costs and stimulate the economy.

The West African nation emerged from its first recession in 25 years in the second quarter of 2017 as oil revenues rose, although the slow pace of growth suggests the recovery remains fragile. (Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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