April 8, 2021/Cowry Asset Report
The global economy continued in expansion territory for the ninth consecutive month in March 2021 as output and new business orders continued to grow; notably, new export orders index expanded to 52.4 points (from 50.2 points in February) while input cost index spiked to 61.6 points (from 59.9 points). This increased cost was partly borne by consumers as output price index rose to 55.9 from 54.0. With regard to jobs, the J.P. Morgan Global Composite Employment Index expanded to 51.6 points in March (from 50.1 points in February) amid improved business confidence at both manufacturers and service providers.
Meanwhile, annual inflation (consumer price) rate continued to trek northwards, having risen to 17.33% in the month of February (from 16.47% recorded in January). The increase in inflation rate was caused by broad-based price increases in the food and non-food categories, albeit food prices continued to exert greater pressure. Exchange rate pressure, increase in energy prices, insecurity in the food producing parts of the country and a weaker harvest season continued to be the major drivers of inflation.