Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates

April 4, 2017

Africa Economic Update (Issue 2)

Business activities in Africa
slightly improved in February 2017 albeit at a slow rate. Sales Managers Index
(SMI) for Africa an assessment of business condition in Pan-African Economy
increased by 0.4 index points from 52.2 points in January 2017 to 52.6 points
in February 2017. Sub-Saharan African countries experienced better
business activities than North Africa in the review period. The two largest
economies in the region, Nigeria (48.5 index points) and South Africa (49.2
Index points) registered contraction in the review period as Nigeria remained
in recession while high unemployment remained a problem in South Africa. The
growth in SMI recorded in the review period is driven by improvement in
business confidence and sales price which outweighed the fall in other
components market growth, sales output and staffing level. 

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The Chinese Model Of Infrastructure Development In Africa

Infrastructural development is a key step in providing a competitive business environment for African economies. It provides the backbone for poverty reduction strategies and programmes designed to improve the livelihood of the poor. Africa is in dire need of infrastructural development. The absence of quality infrastructure in the continent holds back per capita economic growth by 2 percentage points each year and depresses firm productivity by as much as 40 percent (Escribano et al., 2008 and Kelly, 2012). Estimates suggest that around USD 90 billion is required to close Africas infrastructure gap annually until 2020 (AICD, 2010).

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 24)

Crude oil price increased, in the week under review, to its highest price in 2016. Nigerias bonny light increased by $1.38 from $48.02 per barrel on May 20, 2016 to $49.64 per barrel on May 27, 2016, while Brent crude was sold for $50 per barrel on May 26, 2016. The catalyst for price gains in the period under review is the supply-side contractions, with unplanned production shortages in Nigeria, Canada and Iraq. The upward trend of prices may unlock more supplies in subsequent weeks, but the OPEC meeting scheduled for June 2, 2016, could moderate the effect. Nigeria is expected to benefit from crude oil price rising above the $38 per barrel benchmark. Unfortunately, supply disruptions continue to negatively affect oil revenue and may have contributed to the depletion of external reserve by over $153 millionthis week. The federal government, in collaboration with relevant security agencies, should find a lasting solution to the vandalism of oil pipelines and production facilities.

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 5)

The Naira continued to depreciate in the review week. At the parallel market, naira exchanged for N498/$ on January 27, 2017 and N500/$ on February 3, 2017. Despite the weekly sales of forex to BDCs and the significant improvements in the external reserves, the naira has continued to lose value to other currencies. The pressure on the naira has been triggered by escalating scarcity of forex in the spot market, likely due to forex hoarding. However, in the preceding week, the CBN sold $660 million in forwards contract in an attempt to manage liquidity and stabilize the naira. In the face of growing speculation in the parallel market, the monetary authority should institute mechanisms that would discourage excessive forex hoarding among licensed BDC operators. An initiative that monitors transaction dealings in the parallel market would go a long way in detecting erring BDC operators.