Policy Brief & Alerts

March 11, 2018

A Note On The Economic Downturn In Sub-Saharan Africa

Download Label
March 13, 2018 - 4:00 am
257.20 kB
v.1.7 (stable)
Read →

The recent movements in the dollar-naira exchange rate, following the removal of the currency
peg, has stimulated ongoing debate in the media that South Africa has regained its position as the
largest economy in Africa. The prevailing notion is that the depreciation of the naira and
simultaneous appreciation of the rand against the US dollar implies that South Africa’s GDP has
surpassed that of Nigeria. However, this argument needs some re-examination, given that the
value of the GDP (in current US$) is sensitive to the choice of exchange rate and GDP figures used
for its computation. This piece situates the present argument in the context of recent commodity
market crisis and its implications for the two largest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa



Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 50)

Crude oil price experienced a mixed week from November 18 to November 25, 2016. Specifically, OPEC basket price and Brent crude price fluctuated, to a daily average of $44.6 (from $42.33)and $48.3 (from $46.86)per barrel respectively. The present oil volatility is as a result of sell-offs, attributable to speculations/fears of an insufficient production cut by OPEC (in its bid to control oversupply) - a deal scheduled for its next meeting on November 30th 2016. This speculations have arisen due to the reluctance of major OPEC member country (Saudi Arabia) to participate in the potential oil cut dealwhich could exert a downward pressure on oil prices. However, oil prices should rise if OPEC members agree to the oil cut deal. Irrespective of the outcome of the meeting, Nigeria is exempted from the potential crude oil cut. Thus, it will be optimal for the government to act quickly to address the insurgence in the Niger Delta region, in order to raise domestic oil production as much as possible.

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 11)

In the crude oil market, OPECs weekly basket price increased 1.07 percent from $29.02 per barrel in February 19 to $29.33 per barrel in February 26. A combination of factors were responsible for the slight price increase. First, a decrease in the number of active oil rigs in the US2 (the lowest since 2009) may have marginally eased the glut in the crude oil market. The ongoing efforts by OPEC and other major oil producers such as Russia to freeze oil production have also played a significant role in stemming the downward trend in oil prices. With the current market conditions, the price of crude oil is expected to maintain a fairly stable and modest upward trajectory in the near term.

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 39)

The monthly monetary survey by the CBN shows a decline in money supply for the month of August 2017, relative to July 2017. Narrow and broad money supply dropped by 4.2% and 1.5% to N9,891 billion and N21,851 billion respectively. The continuous monetary contraction witnessed over the past months may be associated with aggressive sale of treasury bills by the CBN through open market operations. This act is capable of mopping up liquidity in the economy, reduce loanable funds in the banking system, and constrain the easing of lending rates in the near term.