Nigerian inflation accelerated at a slightly slower pace than economists expected in October, giving the central bank possible scope to slow the pace of interest rate increases.
The inflation rate accelerated to 21.1% in October from 20.8% the month before, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on its website on Tuesday showed. That’s less than the 21.3% median estimate of seven economists in a Bloomberg survey.
Disruption in food supply chains, increases in the cost of imports due to currency depreciation and rising energy costs all added to price pressures in Africa’s largest economy, according to the statistics agency.
Annual food-price growth quickened to 23.7% from 23.3% in September, while core inflation quickened to 17.8% from 17.6%. The monthly price index rose 1.2% in October, down from 1.4% the previous month.
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s monetary policy committee is due to meet next week to decide whether to raise borrowing costs for the fourth time in a row. It has increased rates by a cumulative 400 basis points this year.
Governor Godwin Emefiele warned at the bank’s September meeting that policymakers would further hike rates as long as it is trending higher. “The major threat to our economy today is the quickening inflation momentum and levitating expectations,” he said at the time.