Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria reveals Nigeria’s total money supply (M2) rose to N66.4 trillion in September 2023.
The money supply, identified as M2, captures the total amount of money available in the economy at a particular moment.
This includes physical currency such as coins and banknotes, in addition to various types of deposits maintained by individuals, enterprises, and institutions in banks and other financial entities.
Nigeria’s money supply has been on the rise since the central bank began its expansive monetary policy stand in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since September 2020, Nigeria’s money supply has doubled from N29 trillion before the lockdown (February 28th). However, the rise has been rapid in the last 12-18 months rising by about 34.6% year on year.
The increase in money supply was also a result of the devaluation of the naira following forex unification in June, The policy effectively added close to N10 trillion to the money supply.
Key Highlights of the Data
M2 Breakdown – A closer look at the data reveals that certain components of the money supply, namely demand deposits, quasi-money, and currency outside banks, also witnessed growth and declines.
- Specifically, quasi-money, which pertains to financial tools that can be easily converted to cash, surged from N40.8 trillion in the month of August 2023 to N41 trillion
- Moreover, demand deposits, primarily made up of chequing accounts or funds in banks accessible without prior notice, moved from N21.7 trillion to N23 trillion
- Meanwhile, currency outside banks observed a relatively modest increment from N2.29 trillion to N2.3 trillion.
One major observation was the drop in Net Foreign Assets which went from N7.1 trillion to just N591 billion while Net Domestic Assets rose to N66.5 trillion from N58.3 trillion. The money supply is the summation of the net domestic assets and net foreign assets.
Net Domestic Credit – We also noticed an upsurge in net domestic credit rising from N87.2 trillion to N92.7 trillion suggesting that net domestic credit to GDP is around 42.7%.
- The breakdown suggests credit to the government rose to N34.1 trillion from N32.5 trillion.
- Meanwhile, Credit to the private sector rose from N54.7 trillion to N58.6 trillion.
- Credit to the private sector makes up 63% of net domestic credit.
Why this matters: The money supply is a crucial indicator when evaluating interest rates and potential inflation during a certain timeframe.
- The recent surge in Nigeria’s money supply aligns with challenges like escalating inflation, pressure on the exchange rate, and diminishing interest rates.
- As the money supply grows, there’s a rising chance of inflation, leading to decreased purchasing power.
- Additionally, a larger money supply might result in declining interest rates, especially when investment assets are in short supply.
This could potentially make Nigerian assets less enticing to overseas investors, a concern given Nigeria’s dependence on dollar imports.