July 20, 2020

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 27)

According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), the outstanding public debt declined by 5.65 percent from $84 billion to $79.3 billion between December 2019 and March 20201. The reduction was driven by a 9 percent decline in domestic debt from $56.4 billion to $51.6 billion during the same period2. Meanwhile, the change to external debt was minimal as it tapered around $27.6 billion in both periods. While the decline in domestic debt is as a result of the redemption of Nigeria Treasury Bills (NTBs), the stagnation of external debt stems from the government’s need to limit its exposure to exchange rate volatility. However, the $3.4 billion in emergency support received from the IMF in April as well as the reliance on domestic debt to mitigate the impact of the pandemic will increase public debt in the near term. In this context, effective debt management is important not only with regards to the terms of borrowing but also in debt use and transparency.

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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.

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 27)

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