Nigeria’s Inflation Rate falls in Q4

Nigeria’s inflation rate declined for the first time in three months in October even as food-price growth accelerated.

The consumer-price index rose 11.26 percent from a year earlier compared with 11.28 percent in September, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey was for 11.4 percent. Prices increased 0.7 percent in the month.

Food prices climbed 13.3 percent from a year earlier, a third month of acceleration. Price growth in the West African nation has been above the central bank’s target band of 6 percent and 9 percent for more than three years.

Inflation in Africa’s largest oil producer slowed for 18 straight months through July. Growth in consumer prices could average 12.4 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

To keep a lid on inflation, the central bank has held its main lending rate at a record 14 percent since 2016.

Late disbursements from this year’s budget of 9.1 trillion naira ($25 billion) and election-related spending before the February vote may quicken price growth, central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele has said.