Well Below Par

The Economist November 29th, 2014

Well Below Par

Over-reliance on oil spells trouble for Nigeria

“When the price of oil tumbles, you should worry about a country that relies on the stuff for 75% of government revenue and 95% of exports.  That country is Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy.  Earlier this year oil was selling at well over $100 a barrel. It is below $80 now.  Nigeria’s currency, the naira, is diving; the central bank is shedding foreign-exchange reserves in its defence.  On November 25th it hiked interest rates by a percentage point to 13% (the first increase in three years) and said it had reduced its target rate for the naira (against the dollar by a further 8%.  That will not be the end of the story…”

Par is a golfing term for a base score for a hole, for example par 3.   Nigeria’s oil has fallen below par because it is below expectations.

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