Nigeria Economic Update Weekly Digest Issue 11

The first article on page 2 is titled: Decline in External Reserves. Between January and February, Nigeria’s external reserves declined from US$37.2 billion to $35.5 billion, its lowest in over 2 years. Although the reserve level remains above the $30 billion benchmark set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the reserves have depleted considerably by 2.03% month-on-month. Since the beginning of the year, external reserves have steadily declined, falling by a total of $2.38 billion in 2020. The recent decline stems from a fall in crude oil prices occasioned by a slowdown in global economic activities following the Corona virus outbreak. The following article also on page 2 is titled: CBN Interventions to combat COVID-19 pandemic. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken steps to ensure financial stability amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The steps include a reduction of interest rates for all CBN interventions from 9% to 5%, the creation of a N50 billion credit facility for households and SMEs impacted by the pandemic, and N100 billion in credit support to the healthcare industry. Other policy actions were aimed at maintaining funding levels within deposit money banks in order to sustain lending capacity to the private sector. Overall, the CBN has committed over N1 trillion to support all critical sectors, which could help buffer the effect of a global recession. The next article also on page 2 is titled: Rise in inflation rate. The recent report released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the inflation rate rose for the month of February by 0.07% to 12.20%5. The rise in inflation was driven by all components particularly the food component owing to a continuous strain on the supply chain in the food market. While core sub-index grew by 0.08% to 9.43%, the food sub-index grew by 0.87% to 14.90%. On page 3 the section called Economic snapshot, provides quarterly indicator details, e.g. GDP growth rate percentage, Oil rate percentage etc.