A recently released CBN report indicates a weakened business outlook of -66.2 points for the month of May. The agriculture and service sectors are the worst hit, recording a decline in activity of -37.7 index point for May. According to the survey the pessimism is maintained in June as businesses expect an economic outlook of -4.22. The employment outlook is pessimistic across the construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and service sectors as employment is expected to decline by -18.5, -10.9, and -4.1 points respectively. The weakened outlook towards the macroeconomy results from limited economic activity with businesses that are import and/or export-oriented and those that are neither import nor export-oriented expressing pessimism. Considering that the factors that constrain business activity including power supply insufficiencies, access to finance and credit, high-interest rate, and insufficient demand are still present, the business outlook in the coming months is expected to continue to weaken considerably.
June 21, 2020
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 23)
In the crude oil market, OPECs weekly basket price increased 1.07 percent from $29.02 per barrel in February 19 to $29.33 per barrel in February 26. A combination of factors were responsible for the slight price increase. First, a decrease in the number of active oil rigs in the US2 (the lowest since 2009) may have marginally eased the glut in the crude oil market. The ongoing efforts by OPEC and other major oil producers such as Russia to freeze oil production have also played a significant role in stemming the downward trend in oil prices. With the current market conditions, the price of crude oil is expected to maintain a fairly stable and modest upward trajectory in the near term.
The falling tide in the international value of Naira experienced a reversal in the review week with naira appreciating significantly by 11 percent from N516/$ on February 17, 2017 to N460/$ on February 24, 2017 at the parallel market the first appreciation since December 2016. The recent rise in naira value was driven by forex supply-demand gap closure, sequel to improvements in dollar liquidity. The recent CBN Special intervention (e.g. the auction and sale of $370 million and $1.5 million respectively, by the apex bank during the week) and its revised forex policy guidelinescontributed in dousing speculations in the parallel market, thus gradually narrowing the margin between the interbank and parallel market rates. Given that the sustainability of naira appreciation is strongly hinged on the improvement in foreign reserve which is largely dependent on crude oil sales, the government should continue its efforts at calming tensions in the Niger Delta region.
Available reports from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), suggests a significant reduction in the cost incurred to produce one barrel of crude oil for the past two years. Specifically, the cost of production reduced by 71 percent from $78 as at August 2015, to $23 per barrel as at August 2017. This may be attributable to moderations in operational expenditures, following repairs and restructuring in the oil region.