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Nigeria Inflation Rate Rises to 12.3% on Flood Impact

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose for the second consecutive month in November to 12.3 percent as the worst floods in decades cut farming output.

Inflation in Africa’s largest oil producer accelerated from 11.7 percent in October, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said today in an e-mailed report. The median estimate of nine economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 12.1 percent.

Nigeria’s two biggest rivers, the Niger and the Benue, overflowed their banks, killing 363 people and displacing 2.2 million between July and October, according to the National Emergency Management Agency. Farming communities along the river banks saw the worst damage.

The impact of the floods will probably boost inflation this month before price pressures begin easing early next year, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi said on Nov. 20, after leaving the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 12 percent. The inflation rate may decline close to the central bank’s target of less than 10 percent in January, mainly because of base effects from the reduction of a subsidy on gasoline in January this year that boosted prices, Sanusi said.

“With this inflation reading it will make it a little more difficult to get into the single digits by January,” Alan Cameron, an economist at CSL Stockbrokers Ltd., said by phone from London today. Interest rates will probably remain the same until at least March, he said.

Food prices, the biggest component of the consumer index, rose 11.6 percent in November from a year earlier, compared with 11.1 percent in October, the statistics agency said.

The naira fell 0.1 percent to 157.7 a dollar at 9:36 a.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. The currency of sub-Saharan Africa’s second largest economy has risen 2.9 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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