Nigeria has record-high interest rates and a currency at record lows

The Central Bank of Nigeria just came out of its
monthly monetary policy meeting and
announced it would keep its benchmark interest
rate at a record-high 13% ( http://
pre-vote-meeting.html ) . (Some economists
expected it to go even higher.)
The Nigerian naira also hit a record—but not a
record high.
The currency hasn’t tracked oil as closely as
Russia’s ruble, but the Central Bank of Nigeria
decided to devalue it in November ( http://
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30196496 )
after its foreign reserves dried up trying to
protect the naira’s value.

With crude oil prices dropping sharply, the
International Monetary Fund recently dropped its
2015 economic growth projections ( http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2015/update/01index.htm ) for Nigeria to 4.8% from
7.3%. The commodities rout—along with Boko
Haram’s terrorism ( http://qz.com/328346/satellite-images-show-boko-harams-destruction-in-nigeria-and-its-far-worse than-anyone-realized/ ) , which is roiling large
portions of the country’s northeast region—will
be a big factor in the country’s upcoming
elections ( http://qz.com/325977/nigerians-have-a-lot-of-issues-but-theyre-all-about-one-right-now/ ) , which pits incumbent
president Goodluck Jonathan against challenger Muhammadu Buhari.


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