*Says TB rates will average 17%
By Babajide Komolafe
Coronation Merchant Bank, yesterday, projected that Nigeria’s economy will grow by 2.25 percent in 2019.
Head of Research, Coronation Merchant Bank, Guy Czatoryski, disclosed this while presenting the bank’s Economic Outlook for 2019.
“We expect growth to be 2.25 percent in 2019. Consumer demand is very weak and we do not expect an uptick in the immediate future. Government expenditure does not very much from year to year, with the 2019 budget currently considered at N8.83 trillion versus N9.12 trillion for 2018”, he said.
Speaking on the direction of crude oil price and impact on the nation’s exchange rate, Czatoryski said the bank projects average oil price of $58 per barrel, stressing that while this may be below the budget benchmark of $60 per barrel, it is high enough to generate foreign exchange needed to defend the naira.
He however said that if oil goes below $58 per barrel, the CBN will have to raise treasury bills rate to attract dollar inflow from portfolio investors so as to maintain exchange rate stability.
He stated: “A lot depends on oil this year. We forecast an average $58 befell for 2019. An average much below this means CBN will have to keep rates very high and could even challenge the naira/dollar exchange argument.