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Nigeria Monetary Policy May 2024

Nigeria: Central Bank of Nigeria raises rates in May

At its meeting on 20–21 May, the Central Bank of Nigeria decided to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 150 basis points to 26.25%. Meanwhile, it retained the corridor around the MPR at -100/+300 basis points, and the Cash Reserve Ratio, and the Liquidity Ratio at their current levels. Market analysts had expected a smaller increase.

The decision was driven by the need to rein in inflation, particularly food inflation. Other factors highlighted by the Bank included the rising cost of transportation, infrastructure constraints, security issues in food-producing areas, and the impact of exchange rate movements on imported products. That said, the Central Bank noted that despite a moderate rise in year-on-year headline inflation, month-on-month headline, food, and core inflation showed significant declines, indicating that previous tight monetary policies were beginning to have the desired effect. Meanwhile, the Bank stated that recent volatility in the exchange rate was due to seasonal fluctuations in demand.

The Bank provided no explicit forward guidance on future interest rate movements, stating only that it would continue to monitor developments in both the global and domestic economies to guide policy and ensure inflation expectations remain adequately anchored. Our panelists are currently updating their projections in light of the Bank’s latest decision.

Andrew Matheny and Bojosi Morule, analysts at Goldman Sachs, commented:

“Real ex ante interest rates are still only marginally positive on our estimates, and in our view potentially insufficiently tight given policy settings in other countries and inflation and FX risks in Nigeria. Moreover, given that the CBN’s principal policy instrument in recent months has been OMO bill issuance to absorb Naira liquidity, the extent to which today’s rate increase passes through to bill yields remains a key question.”

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