The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has forecasted a decrease in the country’s inflation rate and a reduction in exchange rate pressures in the coming year. Despite the inflation rate reaching a staggering 27.33% in November, the highest in 18 years, CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso remains optimistic about a turnaround in 2024.
Speaking before the Joint Committee on Banking, Insurance, and Other Financial Institutions in Abuja, Governor Cardoso assured that the outlook for the domestic economy is positive and anticipates maintaining this positive trajectory throughout 2024.
“Inflation pressures may persist in the short-term but are expected to decline in 2024. Exchange rate pressures are also expected to reduce significantly with the smooth functioning of the foreign exchange market,” Governor Cardoso stated.
The governor acknowledged the challenges faced by the Nigerian economy, with the inflation rate hitting record levels in November. However, he highlighted his projections for a substantial decrease in inflation and exchange rate pressures in the coming year, signaling potential relief for businesses and consumers alike.
“The outlook for the domestic economy remains positive, and we expect a considerable improvement in the economic landscape in 2024,” Governor Cardoso affirmed.
In addition to addressing inflation and exchange rate concerns, Governor Cardoso also discussed the country’s expectations for reduced oil revenue in the upcoming year due to various factors. He revealed that total trade in the third quarter of 2023 reached N18.804.68 billion, with exports valued at N10.346.60 billion and total imports at N8.457.68 billion. Despite the challenges, the positive trade balance is expected to contribute to an increase in external reserves.
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s proactive measures, including the recent suspension of charges on cash deposits above N500,000, reflect the institution’s commitment to mitigating economic challenges and fostering stability. Governor Cardoso emphasized the importance of collaboration between financial institutions and regulators to address the current economic landscape effectively.
As the nation anticipates the new year, the CBN’s optimistic outlook provides a glimmer of hope for businesses and citizens grappling with the impact of inflation and exchange rate pressures. The government remains focused on implementing strategies to stimulate economic growth and resilience in the face of external challenges.