Total value of Nigeria’s merchandise trade contracted in 2018Q2. Valued at N6.6 trillion1, total trade fell quarter-on-quarter by 8.9 percent from the N7.2 trillion recorded in the previous quarter. Both exports and imports declined during the period: Exports shrunk by 4.9 percent down to N4.5 trillion and was triggered by a huge fall in solid minerals and manufacturing exports. On the other hand, imports declined from N2.5 trillion to N2.1 trillion. Further review shows that crude oil accounted for 83.5 percent of total foreign merchandise trade, and trade to GDP lowered to 22.5 percent from 25.5 percent. However, there was a recorded trade surplus during the period, valued at N2.4 trillion. Going forward, there is a need for export promotion strategies, including subsidies, tax exemptions, and special credit lines to support non-oil business growth.
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
The paper examines fiscal policy as it influences growth through taxes and service delivery. It also reviews Nigerias experience with fiscal policy as well as challenges to its current system.
Available data shows that headline inflation rates increased and remained high in most countries in the region in February 2017. Specifically, inflation rate increased in Egypt (30.2), Burundi (20.9 percent), Kenya (10.28), and Ethiopia (8.5 percent), while it eased in Nigeria (17.78 percent), Ghana (13.2 percent), South Africa (6.3 percent), and Namibia (7.8 percent). Seychelles (-0.6 percent) remained in deflation while Sudan (32.86 percent) and Tunisia (4.6 percent) had unchanged inflation rates within the review period. Increased cost of food continued to plague the region as food component of inflation remained the major driver of inflation. Drought in East Africa continues to compound price pressure in the region. Inflation rates in Burundi6, Kenya and Ethiopia increased by 8, 3.29, and 2.4 percentage points respectively, signifying the three highest price increase in the review period