MPC May Cut Interest Rates Before July– Emefiele

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CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Enterprise Telvision- MPC May Cut Interest Rates Before July– Emefiele

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele said that the Monetary Policy Committee may start cutting interest rates in the first half of the year as inflation eases.

While inflation slowed to a 20-month low of 15.4 per cent in December, it’s still above the CBN’s 6 per cent to 9 per cent target band.

The MPC didn’t meet as scheduled this week and the central bank’s key rate remained at 14 per cent, where it’s been since July 2016. The MPC has been trying to balance bringing down inflation and boosting an economy that contracted in 2016.

Emefiele said the central bank was engaging with the National Assembly and he was optimistic that the new members of the MPC, including a new CBN deputy governor, would eventually be confirmed.

The CBN governor, however, said the committee would not yet have lowered the monetary policy rate if it did meet this week.

According to him, increases in the price and shipment of oil, Nigeria’s biggest foreign-currency earner, and improved investor confidence mean the central bank can build its reserves to $60bn in the next 12 to 18 months, from $40bn currently.