Nigerian Inflation Rate Gains for Second Month to 8% in December

Nigeria’s inflation rate increased for a second month to 8 percent in December, boosted by non-food costs.

Inflation accelerated from 7.9 percent in November, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in an e-mailed statement today.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has kept its benchmark interest rate at 12 percent since October 2011 even as the inflation rate stayed below 10 percent last year, meeting the bank’s target. The bank will lower its target range to 6 percent to 9 percent for this year, Deputy Governor Kingsley Moghalu said in a November interview.

Prices rose last month “on the back of increases in eight of the eleven non-food divisions which contribute to the core sub-index,” the NBS said.

October’s inflation rate of 7.8 percent was the lowest in more than five years in Africa’s biggest oil producer and most populous nation of about 170 million people. The naira has gained 1.1 percent against the dollar in the past six months.

Price pressures may increase as the government raises spending as it prepares for elections in 2015, central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said at the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting in November. The bank is scheduled to make its next rate decision on Jan. 21.

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