Barely a month since we exited recession coupled with vaccination and relaxation of restrictions, both locally and around the globe, the 2nd quarter of the year looked like it was marked for recovery. However, tougher times loom for many Nigerians with the latest economic indices. In fact, the only significant figures increasing are negatives: debt, inflation, and unemployment. Ironical!
Inflation has jumped to 17.33%, the highest figure recorded since March 2017. Our foreign trade deficit sunk to N7.37 trillion, lowest since 2016; unemployment galloped to 33.3%, third worst in the world; and external reserves have fallen to $34.74 billion. In what is, a decline of $632.9 million, our lowest in 10 months.
The alarming increase in inflation has stoked multiple socio-economic crises, the highest in four years, year-on-year (YoY) in February. The last time we recorded a similar figure was bac in February 2017 when it was 17.78%.
However, what is more disturbing is the pattern and distribution of the inflation, experts have decried, pointing at the inflation in food prices which has jumped to 21.79% according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday.
Two consecutive YoY increase in food inflation does not bode well for Nigeria, especially as we continue to tackle the large income disparities and poverty that is ravaging the country, and the experts know.