The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will be convening for its 4th meeting (24th & 25th July) in 2017 to review recent happenings in the global and domestic space since its last meeting in May 2017. The first meeting in the second half of the year is coming against the backdrop of a remarkable improvement in domestic macroeconomic variables although recent developments on the global front offer mixed signals.
Nigeria’s Headline inflation rate has trended lower since peaking in January at 18.7%. However, the moderation is largely on account of high base effect from 2016 which has offset a steep increase in Month on Month growth of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) observed since February. Month on month CPI growth averaged 1.7% from February to May (relative to an average of 1.0% in July 2016 to January 2017) due to sharp rising food prices attributable to seasonality effect.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently released Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey report for the month of June and expectedly, the recent improvements in business and investment sentiment were evident in the responses of business managers to the survey. Following the improvements in FX market liquidity which trailed the launch of the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) FX window, activities in the manufacturing sector have strengthened as the manufacturing PMI expanded for the third consecutive month, rising to 52.9 in June relative to 52.5 in May.
On a continent better known for enriching colonisers and corporations by exporting its gold, copper and diamonds, so-called "development minerals" - ranging from limestone to granite - could help Africa fuel its own economic growth.
The sector, estimated by the United Nations to employ at least 8 million Africans, could create millions more jobs across the continent - many for young people and women - to meet a fast growing need for housing and infrastructure, mining experts say.
One of the high points of President Buhari’s administration is the establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (“PEBEC” or “the Council”), a dedicated council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with the sole focus of removing bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria. Since the inauguration of the Council in June 2016, it has introduced a number of structural reform initiatives to make it easier to start and grow business in the country, particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released inflation report for May 2017 during the week with Headline Inflation further slowing on a Year on Year (Y-o-Y) basis - due to high base effect – although it significantly lagged consensus forecast. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 16.25% Y-o-Y (fourth consecutive month of decline) in May, 99 bps lower than 17.2% recorded in April 2017 but 25bps shy of consensus forecast of 16.0%.
How quick narratives change in frontier markets investing. Just three months back, as the Naira weakened below N500.00/US$1.00 in the parallel market and business confidence waned due to foreign currency shortages, macroeconomic risk became the most fundamental short term basis for forecasting Nigerian equities despite cheap valuation of assets.
Issues of corporate governance continue to attract considerable attention nationally and internationally, especially with current global financial volatility. The ongoing global financial ‘tight spot’ has further reinforced the message that governance of organisations should always aim at protecting the interests of all stakeholders, including shareholders/ investors, employees, suppliers, customers, regulators, communities and the public.
During the week, the Central Bank of Nigeria released the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data for May 2017. The survey which gauges sentiment in the Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing sectors expectedly came in stronger with the Manufacturing composite index recording an increase for the 2nd consecutive month while the Non-Manufacturing composite index expanded above 50 points for the first time in 17 months as the positive impact of the improvements in FX management continued to boost business activities.