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Economy slows by -0.68% as GDP expands by 1.87% in Q1— NBS

Mrs. Zainab S. Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning.
Mrs. Zainab S. Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning.

Nigeria’s economy has slowed by -0.68% in the first quarter of 2020 as the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 1.87%, being a contraction compared to 2.55% growth rate recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The GDP report for the first quarter of 2020 released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday showed that the latest GDP growth rate of 1.87% reflected that the economy slowed by -0.23% when compared to the GDP growth rate of 2.28% recorded in the first quarter of 2019.

Despite the expansion in the latest GDP, data show the growth of the economy is slowing.

The NBS attributed the slump in Nigeria’s economy in the first quarter of 2020 to “significant global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 public health crisis, a sharp fall in oil prices and restricted international trade.”

The nation’s apex statistical agency said the development reflected “the earliest effects of the disruption, particularly on the non-oil economy.”

Analysis of the report showed that quarter-on-quarter, real GDP growth was –14.27% compared to 5.59% recorded in the preceding quarter.

In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N35.65 trillion in nominal terms.

This performance was higher when compared to the first quarter of 2019 which recorded N31.82 trillion with a nominal growth rate of 12.01% year on year.

Relative to the first quarter of 2019, the nominal growth rate was higher by 0.11% points but lower than the proceeding quarter by –0.32% points.

The oil sector recorded a real growth rate of 5.06% (year-on-year) in the first quarter, indicating an increase of 6.51% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

However, growth decreased by –1.30% points when compared to the last quarter which was 6.36%.

Quarter-on-quarter,the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 11.30% in the first quarter of 2020.

The Oil sector contributed 9.50% to aggregate real GDP in Q1 2020.

During the first quarter of 2020, an average daily oil production of 2.07 million barrels per day (mbpd) was recorded.

The production level was higher than the 1.99mbpd recorded in the same quarter of 2019 by 0.08mbpd and the fourth quarter of 2019 by 0.06mbpd.

The non-oil sector grew by1.55% in real terms during the first quarter of 2019.

This was slower by –0.93% points compared to the rate recorded during the same quarter of 2019, and –0.72% points slower than the fourth quarter of 2019. “The non-oil sector was driven mainly by Information and Communication (Telecommunications), Financial and Insurance (Financial Institutions), Agriculture (Crop Production), Mining and Quarrying (Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas), and Construction,” the NBS reported.

In real terms, the Non-Oil sector contributed 90.50% to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2020, less than its share in the first quarter of 2019 which was 90.78% and the fourth quarter of 2019 recorded as 92.68%.

Activities that witnessed weaker performance relative to Q1 2019 include Quarrying, Road transport, Accommodation and Food services as well as real estate.

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