Nigerian inflation slows to 12-month low

Nigeria’s annual inflation rate declined to the lowest in a year in July as food prices increased slower than in the previous month.

Consumer prices rose 11.1% from a year earlier compared with 11.2% in June, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said Friday in a report published on its Twitter account. The median of five economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was 11.2%. Prices rose 1% in the month.

While the food sub-index, which accounts for about half of the inflation basket, rose 13.4% in July compared with 13.6% in June, this week’s directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to stop dollar supplies for food imports could push up prices if shortages due to clashes between herders and farmers worsen.

Governor Godwin Emefiele kept the key rate unchanged last month to fight inflation that’s been above the target range of 6% to 9% for more than four years. With an economy that’s still struggling to recover from a 2016 contraction, the central bank said lenders will no longer receive interest on deposits exceeding 2 billion naira ($5.5 million) and ordered them to increase their loan-to-deposit ratios in an effort to boost credit growth.