Access to finance has been considered to be one of the important factors in influencing firms’ real activities and in promoting aggregates. However, literature on the relationship between finance and firm-level productivity is almost non-existent for African countries. This paper fills this gap by using cross-sectional firm-level data to estimate the effect of access to finance on labour productivity, total factor productivity (TFP), and the stochastic frontier trans-log model. This study also estimates an instrumental variable model – two-stage least square estimator to address potential endogeneity bias between access to credit and firms’ productivity. The results obtained show that the lack of access to finance, especially overdraft facilities negatively affects the productivity of firms in Africa. Also, smaller firms and sole-proprietorships are mostly affected because they have less access to finance. This study suggests that the development of a balanced financial system should be of topmost priority to policy makers. This ensures that more finance is channelled towards those firms whose productivity depends heavily on the availability of finance irrespective of their characteristics. This would result in firms increasing their investments in productivity-enhancing activities, which would benefit long-term economic growth.
Recent Data on Nigerias Real GDP growth rate (Year-on-Year) declined by 2.47 percentage points, from 2.11 per cent in 2015Q4 to -0.36 percent in 2016Q11. This is the lowest GDP growth rate since 2004Q2 (-0.81 percent). The Oil sector continued to contract, as -1.89 percent growth was recorded in 2016Q1. The negative growth witnessed in the oil sector was likely driven by the fall in global oil prices by $9.732 and decline in domestic crude oil production, relative to preceding quarter. Similarly, the Non-oil sector witnessed a negative growth as it declined by 3.32 percentage points from 3.14 percent in 2015 Q4 to -0.18 percent in 2016Q1. The underperformance in the non-oil sector was driven by significant contractions in financial (by 17.69 percent), manufacturing (by 8.77 percent), and real estate (by 5.48 percent) sub-sectors. Given that the present economic fundamentals point to a likely recession in 2016Q2, the government can stir economic activities by speeding up the budget implementation process to spur growth in the non-oil sector and the economy at large. More so, the domestic production shock in the oil sector needs to be addressed to effectively leverage on the present marginal rise in crude oil prices.
Naira appreciated in the week under review. At the parallel market, naira gained 0.54 percent to exchange at N368/$ on June 23, 20175. This is at the backdrop of injections into the forex market by the CBN to the tune of $195 million at the beginning of the review week, to meet various forex demands. This is amid a slight week-on-week increase in the external reserves (by 0.1 percent to $30.23 billion). Despite the recent naira appreciation, the long-term prospects seem bleak given that the ongoing intervention that seeks to stabilize naira by depleting reserves is unsustainable.
Available data shows that headline inflation reduced in most countries in the region in May 2017 relative to preceding months. Notably, headline inflation decreased in Nigeria (16.25 percent), Ghana (12.26 percent), Tanzania (6.1 percent), Senegal (1.8 percent), Namibia (6.3 percent) and Rwanda (11.7 percent), while it grew in South Africa (5.4 percent), Kenya (11.7 percent), Ethiopia (8.7 percent) and Uganda (7.2 percent). Cote dIvoire (-0.4 percent) recorded consumer price deflation. The decrease in consumer price in Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana can be attributed to decreases in both food and non-food components of inflation. Regionally, all countries in Southern Africa recorded single digits inflation, however consumer price marginally increased in South Africa, for the first time in 2017 owing to spike in food prices6, and Botswana (both by 0.1 percent).
Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate: Growth in the sector which stalled in the second and third quarters of 2015 witnessed a considerable decline in 2015Q4; the stall in growth in 2015 is attributable