Inflation in Nigeria soared to 16.5 per cent in June

LAGOS, Nigeria – Officials say inflation in Nigeria soared to 16.5 per cent in June, with household and utility costs up 24.2 per cent.

Africa’s biggest and most import-dependent economy is struggling with foreign currency shortages and a much-devalued local naira currency amid low oil prices. Meanwhile, militant attacks on oil pipelines and other installations have cut petroleum production.

Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday that inflation accelerated from 15.6 per cent in May to 16.5 per cent in June, with transport costs up 16.9 per cent. Food prices jumped by 15.3 per cent after a 14.9 per cent increase in May.

John Ashbourne of New York-based Capital Economics predicts that inflation will peak around 18 per cent and the naira will fall from 290 to 300 to the dollar by year’s end. The unofficial rate is 360.