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IMF forecasts further drop in inflation for 2024, but Nigeria’s economic woes persist



IMF forecasts further drop in inflation for 2024, but Nigeria's economic woes persist

IMF forecasts further drop in inflation for 2024, but Nigeria’s economic woes persist


Amidst glimmers of hope on the global economic horizon, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has delivered a mixed prognosis, predicting a continued easing of inflationary pressures while cautioning against premature celebration. Speaking at the China Development Forum (CDF) 2024 in Beijing, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF, underscored the need for vigilant economic stewardship amidst ongoing uncertainties.

According to NAN, Georgieva’s remarks, conveyed via a statement by the IMF, highlighted the gradual but tangible progress in combating inflation, particularly in advanced economies. Notably, she cited a significant reduction in headline inflation for these nations, which plummeted from 9.5% to 2.3% in just 18 months, signaling a promising trajectory. Anticipating this downward trend to persist into 2024, Georgieva emphasized the potential for central banks in major advanced economies to initiate interest rate cuts in the latter half of the year.

However, amidst these cautiously optimistic projections, Georgieva issued a stark warning against complacency, urging central bankers to exercise prudence in their policy decisions. Emphasizing the imperative of maintaining central bank independence, she cautioned against premature rate cuts that could inadvertently trigger fresh inflationary shocks, while also highlighting the adverse consequences of prolonged inaction on economic activity.

As the global economic landscape continues to evolve, Georgieva acknowledged both the resilience and fragility of the current recovery. While factors such as robust labor markets, expanding household consumption, and a reduction in supply chain disruptions have bolstered global economic resilience, geopolitical tensions and lingering structural challenges remain cause for concern. Against this backdrop, she stressed the need for proactive risk management and preparedness for unforeseen contingencies, urging policymakers to remain vigilant in navigating the complex dynamics of the global economy.

Despite these nuanced assessments, Georgieva refrained from providing specific new forecasts in her address, deferring to the forthcoming World Economic Outlook report. However, she offered insights into the global economic landscape, highlighting the contrasting trajectories of various regions and emphasizing the disproportionate impact of economic shocks on vulnerable countries, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Against this backdrop of global economic discourse, Nigeria’s economic challenges loom large, as evidenced by the latest inflation figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). With the country grappling with an annual inflation rate of 31.70% in February, representing a notable uptick from the previous month, concerns about the nation’s economic stability persist. As policymakers navigate these turbulent waters, the imperative of proactive and strategic intervention becomes increasingly urgent, underscoring the need for concerted efforts to address structural vulnerabilities and foster sustainable economic growth.

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