ABUJA, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Nigeria's economy is expected to grow slightly faster this year than in 2012, driven by progress in the agriculture, banking and oil sectors, while high inflation rates should ease slightly, data showed on Monday.
Growth in Africa's second biggest economy is forecast at 6.75 percent compared with an estimated 6.61 percent in 2012, an outlook from the national bureau of statistics (NBS) said.
'Energy reforms ... banking sector, agricultural reforms and oil sector reforms are expected to drive higher growth during the period (2013-2016),' the report said.
GDP should expand by an average of 7.2 percent next year, 6.9 percent in 2015 and 6.6 percent in 2016, it said, adding that the projections assumed no change to monetary policy, stable fuel prices in the continent's biggest oil producer and a stable external environment.
It expected headline inflation to ease to 9.76 percent this year from 11.98 percent in 2012, when the removal of a fuel subsidy and flooding pushed prices up.
Consumer inflation eased to 9 percent year-on-year in January from 12 percent in December, dropping within the central bank's single-digit target range.
The bank's governor said last week that he was in no hurry to cut interest rates even if inflation fell.
Food price inflation, the biggest contributor to the headline index, eased to 10.1 percent in January from 10.2 percent, NBS statistics showed.
(Reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by John Stonestreet) Keywords: NIGERIA ECONOMY/
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