August 3, 2015
Volume 1 April 2014
In 2015, economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) slowed to 3.4 percent from 4.6 percent the previous year. The economic slowdown in the region was the result of an interplay of several external and domestic factors such as lower commodity prices, slowdown in the economies of major trading partners, tightening borrowing conditions, political instability and conflict, electricity shortages and other infrastructure deficiencies (World Bank, 2016). This sluggish growth trends is in contrast to the impressive growth recorded in the region, over the past decade.
Recent media highlights suggest that there is a prospective decrease in Nigerias budgetary benchmark crude oil production. Precisely, the 1.8 million barrels per day proposed at the Joint OPEC and Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting, is 18.2 percent lower than the budgetary production benchmark of 2.2 million barrels per day. This followed OPECs recent review to include Nigeria in the ongoing production cut agreement amid concerns of global oil market oversupply, given the constant production increase from Nigeria over the last few months.
The naira continued its downward trajectory in the review week. Specifically, naira depreciated significantly at the parallel segment by 3.5 percent to a record low of N440/$ on September 23, 2016. Notably, this was driven by the worsening liquidity constraints at the interbank market which left the excess forex demand to be sourced at the parallel market, and thus exerted downward pressure on the naira. The naira is likely to further weaken given that most of the liquidity constraints are exogenously determined and thus forex supply will likely remain subdued by its demand.