The GDP growth rate in 2020Q2 was estimated to be -6.10%, the first negative growth since the recession in 2016/2017. The GDP declined by 8.22 percentage points from 1.87% to -6.10% between 2020Q1 and 2020Q21. The fall was largely driven by a slowdown in international and domestic activities occasioned by lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Further disaggregation of the data shows that the non-oil sector GDP decreased by -6.05% (first negative decrease since 2017Q3). Also, the oil sector experienced a higher negative growth, declining by -6.63% within the same period. Contractions in growth were also recorded in the industry (-12.05%) and service sectors (-6.78%) while the growth rate in the agriculture sector remained positive (1.58%). Given that the strict lockdown measures were lifted at the end of the second quarter, and Nigeria’s major trading partners – Europe, the United States, and China – have reopened their economies, the GDP growth rate in 2020Q3 is expected to be more favourable than the preceding quarter. However, the coverage and targeting of the existing interventions for the vulnerable households and affected businesses should be improved in order to enhance their reach.
September 16, 2020
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 34)
Recently released media highlights show that Nigeria has dropped in terms of macroeconomic indicator rankings in 2018. With a headline index of 2.77, Nigeria is ranked 158th globally out of 181 countries five places lower than the previous year rankings. Indicators suggest that Nigeria is presently behind 28 other African countries, and just ahead of only 4 West African countries (Mauritania, Togo, Niger and Guinea Bissau).
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.