Recession: CBN moves to pursue expansion policies

 

In a bid to curb the rising inflation and address recession in the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it would pursue expansionary monetary policies since the fiscal policy already has some limitations.

The Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele said the decision was part of the resolutions of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held last week.

According to him, “he committee was therefore of the view that to abate the pressure, it had no choice but to pursue an expansionary monetary policy using development finance policy tools, targeted at raising output and aggregate supply to moderate the rate of inflation.

“At present, fiscal policy is constrained and so cannot, on its own, lift the economy out of contraction or recession, given the paucity of funds arising from weak revenue base, current low crude oil prices, lack of fiscal buffers and high burden of debt services.

“Therefore, monetary policy must continue to provide massive support through its development finance activities to achieve growth in the Nigerian economy.”

He said the MPC was confronted by policy dilemma.

He said though the MPC felt the primacy of its price and monetary stability mandate, it nevertheless was confronted with what policy direction to focus on, given the contraction in output growth during the second quarter of 2020.

According to Emefiele, the Q2 contraction may lead to a recession, if the third quarter of 2020 output growth numbers further show a contraction.

“It is, therefore, of the view that, if a recession occurs in Q3, the committee would be confronted with proposing policy options in a period of stagflation,” he said.

The CBN governor said this was because with the recent removal of subsidy on fuel price, the increase in energy prices, and the adjustment of the exchange rate, inflationary pressure would no doubt persist unless MPC considers options that would deal with the pressure aggressively.

He said this was the reason the MPC would continue to play a dominant role in the achievement of the goals of the Economic Sustainability Programme through its interventionist role to navigate the country towards a direction that would boost output growth and moderate the level of inflation.

 

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