National Bureau of Statistics Inflation at almost 3-1/2 year high in February

Africa's biggest economy is facing its worst economic crisis in decades fuelled by the collapse in crude prices

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President Muhammadu Buhari declares National Economic Council retreat open on March 21, 2016. play

President Muhammadu Buhari declares National Economic Council retreat open on March 21, 2016.

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Nigeria's annual consumer inflation rate rose 11.4 percent in February, 176 basis points higher than in January, to near a three-and-a-half year high, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday.

Africa's biggest economy is facing its worst economic crisis in decades fuelled by the collapse in crude prices, which has slashed government revenues, weakened the currency and caused growth to slow. The economy grew 2.8 percent last year, its slowest pace in decades.

Food prices, which account for the bulk of the inflation basket, climbed by 11.3 percent in February compared with 10.6 percent the previous month, the NBS said.

"All major food groups which contribute to the food sub-index increased at a faster pace during the month," the NBS said in a report.

The NBS expects inflation to end the year at 10.16 percent, above the central bank's target upper limit of nine percent. The price index ended at 9.55 percent last year.

The rate of inflation steadied in January after rising for two consecutive months towards the end of last year.

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