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Nigeria Inflation Rises in Feb, Fuel Shortages Stoke Prices

ABUJA, March 15 (Reuters) - Nigeria's inflation climbed to 15.70% in February, the statistics office said on Tuesday, after petrol shortages stoked domestic prices.

Inflation, which has been in double digits since 2016, rose from 15.60% January.

Nigeria subsidies petrol and has faced shortages since February exacerbated by delivery of unusable substandard gasoline.

Soaring global oil prices also had an impact as Nigeria, though a crude oil exporter, depends almost entirely on imported gasoline.

The fuel shortage has seen logistics and transport cost rise, a key input for a country which imports many key goods and services. Airlines have had to cancel some domestic flights and delay others this month.

Additionally, a dollar shortage has prompted the government to put restrictions on foreign exchange supplies of certain items, cutting supplies of goods and exerting pressure on prices.

Nigerian authorities have said persistent inflationary pressures are structural - linked to deficits and not solely to the money supply - and largely imported.

The central bank is due to meet next week to set interest rates.

Persistent double-digit inflation could pile pressure on the central bank to reconsider its dovish stance on interest rates, although economic growth is still fragile.

Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by Catherine Evans and Jason Neely

Source: Reuters

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