• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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UK, South Africa eye inflation rates as naira moderates

Nigeria, UK eye inflation rate as DMO auctions N300bn FGN bonds

The United Kingdom and South Africa’s statistics agencies are expected to release the consumer price index reports for both countries on Wednesday.

The UK inflation rate was 2.3 percent in April, the lowest inflation rate in the country since May 2021, while South Africa’s eased to a four-month low of 5.2 percent in the same period.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s naira has been said to continue to moderate, albeit mildly.

Read also: Nigeria inflation remains high at 33.95% despite month-on-month slowdown

Monday, June 17

NBS to release petrol price watch

The National Bureau of Statistics will release its price watch for premium motor spirit (PMS) gasoline for May on Monday.

The average retail price paid by consumers for petrol in April 2024 was N701.24, indicating a 157.57 percent increase when compared to the value recorded in April 2023 (N254.06).

With the removal of the petrol subsidy in May 2023 by President Bola Tinubu, petrol prices have tripled from about N238 to over N700, causing public transportation providers to hike fares and pushing inflation up to a 278-year high of 33.69 percent in April.

Though available data shows that the federal government still subsidies gasoline, the presidency has vehemently denied returning to the fuel subsidy regime.

“As Nigeria’s oil production is yet to see a significant boost, the petrol price for March is expected to increase. However, given that Dangote refinery commences its sale of PMS by May, oil production will be improved, thereby leading to a decline,” an energy expert said.

Read also: World Bank to CBN: Interest rates hike not enough to tame inflation

Wednesday, June 19

UK sets to release May’s inflation report.

The UK inflation rate was 2.3 percent in April 2024, the lowest inflation rate in the country since May 2021.

Between September 2022 and March 2023, the UK experienced seven months of double-digit inflation, which peaked at 11.1 percent in October 2022.

The UK’s annual inflation rate is expected to remain near 2 percent over the remainder of 2024. The average forecast among economists polled by Reuters showed.

Investors are betting that inflation will tumble further through the spring months, reflecting the sharp decline in the price of natural gas since last year and a slowdown in food price rises.

The CPI measures price change from the perspective of the consumer. It is the official target for price stability set by the Bank of England.

South Africa expects an inflation rate

South Africa’s inflation rate dipped to a four-month low in April, but that is unlikely to persuade policymakers to cut borrowing costs as the drop is expected to be short-lived because of rising oil prices.

Consumer prices declined slightly to 5.2 percent compared with 5.3 percent in March, data from Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa showed. Still, it remains well above the central bank’s preferred level of 4.5 percent.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has kept its main interest rate unchanged at 8.25 percent at its past five monetary policy meetings, saying last month that its stance needed to remain restrictive.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the change in the prices of goods and services from the perspective of the consumer. The central bank pays very close attention to this figure in its role of maintaining price stability.

 “Though available data shows that the federal government still subsidies gasoline, the presidency has vehemently denied returning to the fuel subsidy regime.”

NBS to release May’s diesel price watch

The National Bureau of Statistics will release the average retail price for diesel on Wednesday.

The average retail price of automotive gas oil (diesel) paid by consumers increased by 68.01 percent on a year-on-year basis to N1,415.06 per litre in April.

It rose from a lower cost of N842.25 per litre recorded in the corresponding month of last year (i.e., April 2023) to a higher cost of N1,415.16 per litre.

On a month-on-month basis, an increase of 5.51 percent was recorded from N1,341.16 in the preceding month of March 2024 to an average of N1,415.16 in April 2024.

With improved production from the Dangote refinery, the world’s largest single-train facility, the price of diesel is expected to crash to about N900 per litre.

Read also: Inflation and debt … Aftermath of the last minimum wage increment

Liquefied petroleum gas (cooking gas) price watch

The National Bureau of Statistics will release the average retail price for cooking gas on Wednesday.

The NBS said the average price of 5kg of cooking gas declined from N6,591.62 recorded in March 2024 to N6,521.58 in April 2024.

The April price represented a 1.06 percent decrease, compared to what was obtained in March 2024.

The NBS said the average price of 5 kg of cooking gas increased on a year-on-year basis by 40.48 percent, from N4,642.27 recorded in April 2023 to N6,521.58 in April 2024.

Also, the NBS said the average retail price for refilling a 12.5 kg cooking gas declined by 1.83 percent on a month-on-month basis, from N15,929.04 in March 2024 to N15,637.74 in April 2024.

On February 22, 2024, the federal government announced the immediate suspension of LPG exports to curb the rising cost of cooking gas.

Prior to the ban, cooking gas prices had skyrocketed to a staggering N1,500 per kilogramme.

However, the export halt made the prices drop significantly to between N900 and N1,000 per kilogramme.

This translates to a potential saving of N500 or more per kilogramme for Nigerian households.

Friday, June 21

Selected food price reports

The National Bureau of Statistics will release selected food prices for May 2024 on Friday.

The food inflation rate rose from 40.01 percent in March to 40.53 percent in April, lower than some analysts had predicted.

The surge in food prices is forcing consumption of staples out of the reach of many, leading to a pronounced rise in the cost of living crisis.

The key drivers of this inflationary pressure include notable price hikes in essential food commodities such as garri, bread, cereals, local rice, potatoes, yams, and other tubers.

The top 10 food items that have recorded the highest price increase in one year as of April 2024, according to the selected food price report of the NBS, were beef, rice, beans, onion, white garri, yam, semovita, flour, and bread.

Read also: Nigeria, US eye inflation rate as naira struggles for stability

Naira continues to moderate at 1,450–1,500 against USD

Nigeria’s naira is expected to moderate around N1,350 to N1,450 per US dollar as the local currency continues to struggle to strengthen against the greenback.

Following the central bank’s rate hike in May, the naira jumped to a one-month high of N1,173.88 but couldn’t hold on to its gains before it began to plummet.

The naira was quoted at N1,476/$ in the official market, while it closed flat on the street at N1,490/$ as of Thursday.

The naira depreciation was attributed to increased demand for dollars amid a supply shortage.

Bismarck Rewane, the chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Company, has predicted that the exchange rate will stabilise around 1,350–1,450 per US dollar in the next 12 months.