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Nigeria's central bank holds key rate at 14%

The Central Bank of Nigeria left its monetary policy rate unchanged at 14% after economic growth picked up for the second straight quarter while overall inflation slowed down last month.

Central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said eight members of the monetary policy committee voted to retain the key rate while one member voted to reduce it by 100 basis points.

"On the argument to hold, the Committee believes that key variables have continued to evolve in line with the current stance of macroeconomic policy and should be allowed to fully manifest," Emefiele said in a statement.

Nigeria's real GDP expanded by 1.4% in the third quarter, up from 0.72% in the second quarter and contraction in five previous quarters. The bank said the local economy started to show "strong signs of recovery" amid increased public investment, housing construction and shipping activities.

"The Committee was, however, of the view that policy makers must not relent in their aggressive policy initiatives aimed at continuing the positive growth trajectory," Emefiele said.

Headline inflation eased to 15.91% in October from 15.98% in September, while core inflation increased slightly to 12.14% from 12.12%, according to the central bank.