The CBN quarterly consumer expectation survey shows that consumers expressed optimism as outlook for the third quarter of 2018 was positive. Relative to 2018Q2, consumer index increased from -6.3 index points to 1.5 index points.1 Some respondents attributed their increased confidence to improved economic conditions. Consumers also had a favourable outlook for the next quarter and the next 12 months at 24.7 and 30.1 points respectively, owing to expected increase in net household income and the anticipated improvement in Nigeria’s economic conditions. With rallying global oil prices and some stability in the Naira buttresses consumers’ economic expectations, some indicators cast gloomy prospects. These indicators include: capital flow reversals from Nigeria due to consecutive increases in the United States’ benchmark interest rate, as well as Nigeria’s depleting external reserve, declining equities market performance, and uncertainties in the political environment in lieu of the 2019 general elections
Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates
Recent ranking by the World Bank, portrayed Nigeria as having a poor business environment based on the ease of doing business in 2016. Although, Nigeria moved one position forward from previous (2015) ranking, to attain the 169th position out of the 190 global economies reviewed4. This poor rating is resultant of a myriad of factors, including: difficulties in starting a business, enforcing contracts, inaccessibility to credit, tax payment issues, as well as unreliable supply of energy, and labour market regulations. Going forward, improving the efficiency of tax administration by adopting the latest technology to facilitate the preparation, filling and payment of taxes will be beneficial for the business community.
Recently released report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicates decline in output and contribution to GDP in the Nigeria aviation sub-sector. In real terms, output in the sub-sector decreased annually by 4.9 percent between 2015 and 2016; and declined by 13.3 percent (Year-on-Year) in 2016Q4 the largest quarterly decline in 2016. The sectoral fall in output was supply-side driven: increased cost of operations prompted cut-back on services provided by the sector as well as termination of some aviation operations. Going forward, recent improvement in forex supply in the interbank and BDC channel would enhance forex access to airline operators and facilitate smooth running of the airline industry.
The naira depreciated by 8.2 percent from N305/$ on February 5th, to N330/ $ on February 12th 20166. The apex body identified the increased domestic demand for forex to pay for foreign medical treatments and schools fees (15 percent of total demand) 7 as the main drivers. As a result, the apex bank is considering to discontinue the provision of forex for payment of medical bills and school fees abroad and to re-channel the forex towards the manufacturing sector of the economy. With the continuous depreciation of the naira, and the CBNs resistance from calls to devalue the currency, the options for alternatives measures seem to be diminishing.
Global economic growth remained fairly stable in 2016Q3 with baseline projections for global growth at 3.1 percent and 2.4 percent by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank respectively. Growth in developed countries was moderate but unevenly distributed: while the U.S and the UK showed improvements, growth in other economies remained tepid. Among emerging countries, India witnessed higher growth while growth in China remained constant but the Chinese Yuan continued to appreciate. Given that India is Nigerias major crude oil importer, improving economic conditions in India may translate into rising demand for Nigerias crude oil. However, the continuous appreciation of the Yuan poses significant inflationary threat in Nigeria given the high level of imports from China. Subdued global demand, weak trade, uncertainties in commodity prices and consequences of the Brexit were the key constraining factors to growth over the period. In addition, growth in Sub-Saharan African countries remained generally slow on the account of low commodity price, political turmoil, and inconsistent government policies.