Nigerian inflation rises to 17.6 percent in August

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LAGOS, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Annual inflation in Nigeria accelerated to 17.6 percent in August, a fresh 11-year high and the seventh monthly increase in a row, as the crisis in Africa’s biggest economy deepens.

The rise from 17.1 percent in July reflected higher prices for electricity, gas, transport and food, a separate index for which rose to 16.4 percent from July’s 15.8 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.

“During the month, the highest increases were seen in solid fuels, vehicles parts, books and stationeries and clothing,” the NBS said in a statement.

Africa’s most populous nation has seen its economy slide into recession for the first time in more than 20 years, largely due to the impact of low oil prices. Crude oil sales account for 70 percent of government revenue.

These problems have been exacerbated by a spate of attacks since the start of the year that have cut oil production by around 700,000 bpd from 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) at the start of the year.

Inflation is expected to slow next year, however, and economists polled by Reuters predict the central bank will keep its focus on resuscitating the economy and hold interest rates at 14 percent when policymakers meet next week. (Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Catherine Evans)


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