CBN’s MPC further raises reference interest rate by 100bps to 16.5%

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*Expects continued output growth for the rest of 2022

WorldStage Newsonline– The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rose from its two-day meeting today unanimously voted to increase the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) further by 100bps to 16.5% – the fourth consecutive rate hike and the highest rate since November 2002 (18.5%).

The hike brings the cumulative interest rate increase in 2022 to 500bps. The last time the MPR was at the 16.5% level was in July 2003.

Based on the voting pattern, nine members voted to increase the MPR by 100bps, while the remaining two members voted for a 50bps hike in the MPR.

Also, the Committee voted to retain the asymmetric corridor around the MPR at +100bps/-700bps, Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) at 32.5%, and Liquidity ratio at 30.0%.

On domestic growth, the MPC noted the consistent positive performance since the exit from the COVID-19-induced recession, driven by the non-oil sector and complemented by continued policy support from the fiscal and monetary authorities.

Moreover, the Committee expects continued output growth for the rest of 2022, albeit at a much slower pace than earlier anticipated, in light of the domestic and external shocks to the economy.

On inflation, the Committee remained concerned about the continued uptick in inflationary pressures for the ninth consecutive month, with the headline inflation settling at 21.09% y/y in October.

However, the Committee noted the slowdown in the m/m inflation (-11bps to 1.24% m/m as of October), indicating that price pressures are responding to the CBN’s recent interest rate hikes.