Nigeria Revises April Inflation Rate Down; Remains Above 10 Percent Target

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Nigeria revised April inflation to 11.3 percent, less than previously reported, after the National Bureau of Statistics detected a mistake in its calculation.

The inflation rate fell from 12.8 percent a month earlier, the statistics agency said in a statement handed to reporters today in Abuja, the capital, correcting the inflation rate of 11.6 percent issued on May 16.

The revision may give central bank Governor Lamido Sanusi more room to keep interest rates unchanged as he looks to stimulate lending. The central bank on March 22 raised the benchmark interest rate for a second time this year, lifting it one percentage point to 7.5 percent to stabilize the naira and help bring inflation to its 10 percent target.

“Although the naira remains weak and the effects of loose fiscal policy are still being felt, we think the CBN will wait for the impact of its last one percentage point hike to be fully absorbed before adjusting rates again,” Alan Cameron, a London-based analyst at CSL Stockbrokers Ltd., said today in an e-mailed response to questions.

Nigeria’s economy, the third biggest on the continent after South Africa and Egypt, will grow about 7.9 percent in the second quarter, according to the statistics office. The economy is projected to expand 7.98 percent this year, compared with 7.85 percent in 2010.

The mistake in calculating inflation came after statisticians took data for food prices and fed it into the index for food and non-alcoholic drinks, the statistics bureau said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisha Bala-Gbogbo in Abuja at ebalagbogbo@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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