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The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria met for their regular meeting on July 25th and 26th 2011. The 3 major decisions made were:
1. To tighten monetary policy by a majority decision of 10 to 2.
2. To raise the MPR by 75 basis points from 8.0 per cent to 8.75 per cent by a majority vote of 8 members in its favour, 1 member favoured 50 basispoint increase while 3 members voted for holding the MPR at 8.0 per cent.
3. To maintain the corridor at +/- 200 basis points around the MPR.
Below is the summary from the communique of the meeting:
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met on 25th and 26th July, 2011 to review domestic economic conditions during the first half of 2011 and the challenges facing the Nigerian economy against the backdrop of developments in the international economic and financial environment in order to chart the course of monetary policy in the second half of the year.
On the global scene, the Committee noted with concern the enormity of the challenges being faced by the US and euro zone countries as well as the major emerging market economies such as the fiscal position of Brazil, possible real estate bubbles in China and seemingly intractable inflation in India, which may impact the Nigerian economy adversely through several channels. The economic slowdown and the commodity price inflation in the international economy as well as the rapid increase in prices of some asset classes in some emerging market economies remain serious threats to the global economic recovery. There are continuing widespread threats of inflationary pressures fuelled by the sustained high energy, commodity and food prices in the global economy. Headline inflation in many of the major emerging market economies is now exceeding 6 per cent and is running close to or above central banks’ targets in a number of other larger economies.
The performance of the global financial markets was mixed. Many national currencies in Africa depreciated against the US dollar while in many emerging markets, currencies appreciated vis-à-vis the US dollar during the first half of 2011. Furthermore, most stock markets around the world showed weak recovery during the period due to high inflation, weakening consumer confidence and government finances, particularly in the US and eurozone. The unfolding debt crises in the European periphery could damage confidence and output in the near-term while the US debt and unemployment situation pose grave danger to the international economy given the reserve currency role of the US dollar and the size of the US economy. It is not unlikely that the US will lose its AAA rating and actual default is possible unless a deal can be worked out between the White house and the Congress.
On the domestic scene, the Committee noted that inflationary pressures which were traceable to the high expenditure levels associated with the April 2011 general elections as well as the effects of rising international energy, commodity and food prices had moderated by June 2011. This development was due in part to the tight monetary policy stance of the Bank since September of 2010. However, the Committee observed that the inflation outlook appears uncertain owing to the expected implementation of the new national minimum wage policy and the imminent deregulation of petroleum prices.
Significant injection of liquidity from FAAC in the third quarter coupled with the impact of AMCON recapitalizing intervened banks to the tune of N1.6 trillion will both add to inflationary pressures. The Committee welcomed the favorable growth projections but cautioned that the current security challenges, infrastructural bottlenecks and the uncertainty in the international economy as well as fiscal developments could undermine investors’ confidence and output growth in the near term.
The Committee expressed serious concerns about the continued sluggish growth of credit to the private sector during the first half of the year which is attributed, among other factors, to the heightened credit risk in the real economy as a result of the persisting structural problems occasioned by the inadequate power supply and critical infrastructure deficit. It also observed that the lending rates of deposit money banks (DMBs) remained relatively high.
You can download the full communique below:MPC JULY COMMUNIQUE NO 77 (276)
And here is the communique from the June meeting:CBN - MPC Communique No 76 Issued on May 24 2011 (275) Monetary Policy Committee Decision Preview - July 2011 - Vetiva (307)
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