According to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Business Expectation Survey carried out in July, the business outlook rose by 16.4 index points month on month. However, the overall Confidence Index for July 2020 remained pessimistic/negative at -7.9 index points considering that the Index in the preceding month was -24.3 points2. The sectors surveyed were agriculture, manufacturing, and the construction sectors with a more disaggregated data showing that businesses that are neither import nor export-oriented were the most pessimist in the review period. In a more forward-looking survey, respondents had a more optimistic outlook for the month of August (33.7 index points). Understandably, as society transitions back to normal, business activities are expected to improve. While the business community will no doubt be adversely affected by the pandemic, the several interventions put in place by the government should be leveraged on to support businesses.
August 17, 2020
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 31)
Recently released report by the NBS shows an increase in Unemployment and Underemployment rates for 2016Q4 relative to preceding and corresponding quarters. The unemployment rate, at 14.2 percent, indicates a 3.8% points YoY4increase, and a 0.3% points QoQ increase with the number of unemployed people increasing by 351,051 persons. Similarly, underemployment rate grew (QoQ) by 1.3% points to 21%, representing about 17 million underemployed persons as at the quarter. The rise in unemployment/underemployment rate is attributable to the disproportionate rise in labour force vis--vis job creation, in addition to slow-down in economic/business activities during the quarter. Going forward, the government should make efforts to strengthen and expand Nigerias entrepreneurial infrastructure.
Latest Doing Business report by the World Bank ranks Nigeria as one of the top 10 economies that showed notable improvements in doing business in 2016/2017. Precisely, the report which presents quantitative indicators on business regulation compared across 190 economies and ranked Nigeria 145th - up by 24 positions from the previous report ranking, to reach its highest rank since 2013. This may not be unexpected, given that it is consequent upon various business environment reforms in 2016. Particularly, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up in 2016 enacted 31 reforms to improve business(such as improving credit to small and medium-size businesses) all of were enacted into law in May 2017.