The World Economic Outlook report, recently released by the World Bank, reduced its growth projection for Nigeria to 2.1 percent in 20181, from 2.5 percent2. The new growth projection is considerably lower than the 3.5 percent 2018 growth rate projected by the federal government of Nigeria. However, at 2.1 percent, the growth is a significant improvement from actual 2017 growth rate of 0.83 percent; and this outlook has been hinged on improving oil prices, revenue and production, and foreign exchange measures that contribute to better foreign exchange availability.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Recently released power sector report by the National Bureau of Statistics records a total average energy generation of 2,548GWH by 25 power stations, from October 2016 to December 2016. Daily Energy generation, attained the 2016Q4 highest level of 3,859.6MW in October 2016, and a lowest level of 2522MW in the same month. On the average, current daily energy generated which is below 3,000MW, prompts system malfunctions. Thus, the irregular power generation and supply experienced in recent times is attributable to shortage of gas owing to non-functional major pipelines, in addition to the inability of GENCOs to make payments for the available gas supply. Given the recent challenges to power supply, efforts should be geared towards the diversification of electricity generation. Government should consider investment in renewable as well as coal energy to complement gas power supply.
Inflation rate rose slightly to 9.4 percent in November 2015 from 9.3 percent in the previous month. This rise is attributed to price increase in Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, and Transportation costs which extends from shortages of petrol across the country. The food sub-index grew by 0.2 percentage points to 10. 1 percent while, the Core sub-index declined by 0.2 percentage points to 8.7 percent within the period. The inflationary up-tick points to the need to curtail the rising food prices by increasing the supply of petrol in the country.
Global crude prices settled lower in the review week (September 29 to October 6, 2017). Precisely, a barrel of Brent crude sold for about $56, showing a 6.3 percent decrease. Nigerias Bonny light exchanged at $56.76 per barrel as at October 6, 2017. The draw down in price may be attributable to indications of higher output, as revealed by the addition of more production rigs by the U.S, rise in Iraqs crude exports and survey showing OPECs overall boosted supply.
The NSE market indices recorded a bear market rally for the third consecutive week in September. Specifically, All-share index and Market Capitalization increased marginally by 0.31 percent to close at 28,335.40 points and N9.73 trillion respectively on September 30, 2016. Major drivers of the rally include; increased trade-volume of financial, agricultural and consumer-goods securities. The continued rise in market indices may be connected to a sustained investor confidence in the agricultural and financial sectors on the account of the ongoing activities of the government and the CBN to stabilize the sectors.