Recently released GDP report for the first quarter of 2018 shows a stronger growth in GDP, relative to the corresponding quarter of 2017. Driven particularly by growth in the Oil sector, Real GDP grew by 1.95 percent (Year-on-Year) in 2018Q11. In terms of sectoral growth, oil sector rose remarkably to 14.77 percent, a 30.37 percent increase from 2017Q1. Non-oil sector grew by 0.76 percent (Year on Year), slightly up from 0.8 percent- this marginal increase was driven mainly by Agriculture (Crop production), in addition to Manufacturing, Financial institutions and insurance, Transportation and Storage, and Information and Communication
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
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).
The Naira/Dollar exchange rate remained unchanged at ?199/$ in the official market but depreciated from ?263/$ to $267 at the Bureau De Change (BDC) market segment this week. As the naira depreciates, the CBN forex restriction measures continue to widen the gap between the official rate and BDC, which has led to increased calls for naira devaluation. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Business owners are among the major advocates for a relaxation of the forex restrictions set by the CBN, in order to enhance the level of economic activities.
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.
OPEC weekly basket price declined by 2.4 percent to $42.68/barrel on September 16, 2016. This was triggered by a rise in US oil reserve, amid an outlook on weak global oil demand. Similarly, provisional data by OPEC reveals a steady decline in Nigerias crude oil production. Notably, production declined by 3.4 percent to 1.47 mbd in August, 2016.