The recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reveals that Nigeria’s economy will contract to -3.4% in 2020, falling from 2.2% projected in 2019.1 The Fund’s projection takes into cognizance the large drop in oil prices and impact of containment and mitigation measures on economic activities. The report also projects inflation to rise from 11.4% to 13.4%, government debt as a percent of GDP to increase from 29.4% to 35.3% and external reserves to fall from 6.1 to 3.9 months of import between 2019 and 2020. However, GDP and inflation are expected to rebound to 2.4% and 12.4% respectively in 2021. Going forward, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, through business travel and tourism, supply chains, commodities and lower confidence, will worsen the already bleak economic outlook. Nigeria’s economy will be particularly hard hit considering the intensity of the impact on China, a notable trading partner. The government should consider as priority, fiscal stimulus packages for the affected industries and workers and boost investment to accelerate recovery.
May 12, 2020
Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 16)
The global economy grew by 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 (2016Q4) relative to 2.5 percent in 2016Q3, due to rising investment and consumption demands in developed and emerging economies as well as a rise in commodity prices. However, over the entire year, global GDP growth stood at 2.6 percent in 2016, relative to the growth of 3.09 percent recorded in 2015. Notably, output grew progressively in the US over the year, while the steady growth recorded in the UK since the start of the year stalled in 2016Q4. Also, the declining growth recorded in France since 2015 took a positive turn in 2016Q4, the rest of the Eurozone witnessed a fall in output in the quarter. While emerging economies recorded mixed experiences, many Sub-Saharan African countries showed signs of recovery in the period.