Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates

July 4, 2017

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 22)

Available data from Nigeria Bureau of Statistics shows a decline in the Nigeria Aviation sub-sector (Transport Sector) real growth rate in 2017Q1. Compared to the preceding quarter, the sub-sector declined significantly by 9.6 percent, due to decline in the number of passengers and movement of aircrafts this may be connected to the closure of the Abuja airport for infrastructural development during the period. To ensure a near-optimal performance of the aviation sector, the government should also make efforts to improve aviation safety and security, establish a national carrier, and improve aircraft maintenance to world class standards.  

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Portfolio Diversification Between Developed And Less Developed Economies

This study examines the hedging effectiveness of portfolio investment diversification between developed and developing economies; with focus on the Nigerian stock asset vis--vis the stock assets of the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK). Its main contribution is in the analysis of optimal portfolio diversification using optimal portfolio weight (OPW) and optimal hedging ratio (OHR). Empirical findings show that the OPW and OHR are low, which indicates impressive potential gains from combining Nigerian stock assets in an investment portfolio with US and UK stock assets. In addition, exchange rate volatility is found to pose stern limitation on the potential benefits of this portfolio diversification arrangement. It is therefore recommended that the monetary authority in Nigeria should pursue policies towards reducing exchange rate volatility to the barest minimum. This will possibly attract more investors from developed economies who might be willing to combine Nigerian stock in their investment portfolio to minimize portfolio risk.

Africa Economic Update (Issue 1)

Sub-Saharan Africa experienced its worst economic performance in over two decades in 2016, with growth slowing to 1.5 percent. The poor performance in South Africa and oil exporting countries is responsible for attenuating regional growth rate, due to their high collective contribution to regional GDP, despite robust performance in non-resource intensive countries. Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to slightly improve in 2017 (2.9 percent) and further strengthen in 2018 (3.6 percent). At the sub-regional level, growth prospect is estimated to be highest in West Africa (4.78 percent), attributable to 5.93 percent growth rate from West African Monetary Union (WAEMU) Countries. East Africa is expected to grow at 4.5 percent, Southern Africa 3 percent, and Central Africa 2 percent. Agricultural exporting countries are projected to grow at around 7 percent, while oil producing countries are estimated to grow at 1.9 percent, which indicates a recovery from the negative growth recorded in 2016.

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 1)

Nigerias external reserves improved in 2017. The reserve stood at approximately $39 billion as at the end of December 2017, up by about 50 percent from the $26 billion at the beginning of the year 20172. The surge in reserve was particularly boosted by increased capital importation, and crude revenue earnings prompted by a relatively higher crude oil price and improved domestic production. Given that the recent uptick in external reserves is still largely associated with improved crude oil price, efforts should be geared towards conserving current reserve gain so as to cushion future external shock. In the medium term, there is need to diversify export earning away from oil so as to mitigate the effects of volatility in crude oil prices.