The national accounts for 2017Q4 show that the aviation sector grew year-on-year by 4.7 percent in real terms – significantly higher than the 0.48 percent in preceding quarter but significantly lower than the 13.3 percent in the corresponding quarter of 2016 Drawing from the data recently provided by the NBS, it can be inferred that the increase in the number of both domestic and international passenger traffic in the fourth quarter (by 4.9 percent YOY to 3.7 million passengers) may have partly driven the YOY real growth in the sector. This is in addition to remarkable increases in aircrafts and mail movements – by 4.6 percent and 229.6 percent respectively.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Recent report in the media highlights that Nigerias GDP has dropped to $296 billion in 2016, in contrast to the $481 billion recorded in 20151 and Nigeria has lost its position as Africas largest economy to South Africa. This conclusion was based on the computation of GDP with current naira-dollar exchange rate. However, while the naira has significantly lost its official value since the adoption of a flexible exchange rate, estimating GDP merely with a single exchange rate figure (rather than its yearly average) cannot be regarded as an appropriate method to conclude on Africas largest economy.
Power sector analysis shows an increase in power generated by 3.01 percent from 2903.5mw to 2991.8mw between July 1, 2016 and July 8, 2016, with a peak of 3260.8mw on July 5, 2016. This is however, still below the highest (5074.7mw) recorded in February, 2016. The increase reflects improved use of hydro (water) for power generation. The easing out of gas constraint occasioned by recent pipeline repairs have also contributed to the increase in power generation. Improvements in power generation would be sustained if hydro measures are complemented with fast-tracked repairs on damaged gas channels and intensified efforts at tackling pipeline sabotage.
Recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the value of capital imported to Nigeria declined by 54.34 percent; from $1.56 billion 2015Q4to $710.97 million in 2016Q11. This is the lowest value since the data was first released in 2007. Huge declines in Portfolio Investment (71.54 percent) and other Investment (44.84 percent) were the major drivers of the trend within the period. A myriad of factors have contributed to the decline in investments. The plunge in crude oil prices, and the resultant negative signals on investors confidence, was a key factor. This was exacerbated by the FOREX restrictions and delays in the assentation of 2016 Appropriation Bill. While the slight increases in oil prices and the recent signing of the budget into law could improve the general economic prospects, monetary authorities need to proffer solutions to the negative effects of the current FOREX restrictions on investments.
According to figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, employment growth lagged during the recession period, and worsened unemployment/underemployment rates few quarters after. Specifically, unemployment rate rose to 18.8 percent in 2017Q31, up from 16.2 percent in previous quarter (the recession-exit quarter) and 13.9 percent in corresponding quarter. Disaggregated figures reveal that the number of unemployed and underemployed persons in the labour force increased by 17 percent and 2 percent respectively, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in 2017Q3, majority of which are young persons within ages 15-34.