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
Policy Brief & Alerts
Crude oil prices recorded increase during the review week. Global benchmark, Brent price increased from $61.42 to $63.522. Nigerias Bonny light gained 9.6 percent to trade at $64.78 per barrel. The weeks rise was at the backdrop of further prospective cuts agreement at OPECs meeting in November 2017 and political tensions and uncertainties in Saudi Arabia given that these events may likely reduce supply and support demand in the near term. Meanwhile, global crude oil market events have been favorable to Nigeria, as the price of bonny light at approximately $65 per barrel, reflects the highest in more than two years.