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Nigeria records $2.8bn Balance of Payments surplus in Q4’18

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

Nigeria’s Balance of Payments (BOP) improved to $2.1 billion surplus in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4’18), representing 162 percent increase when compared with the $4.54 billion deficit recorded in the third quarter of the year (Q3’18).

The improvement was driven by 21 percent decline in imports and 2.1 percent increase in exports during the quarter.

The CBN disclosed this yesterday in a report titled: “Brief on Balance of Payments Statistics Q4’18.”

Nigerian

The report stated: “The provisional Balance of Payments (BOP) estimates for Q4’18 showed a significant improvement in the BOP outcome as the overall balance of payments recorded a surplus of $2.8    billion compared to a huge deficit of $4.542 billion and a surplus of $6.18 billion recorded in the preceding quarter and corresponding period of 2017, respectively.

“The current account balance (CAB) improved from a deficit of $1.544 billion in Q3’18 to a surplus of $1.104 billion in Q4’18. The financial account balance indicated a net acquisition of financial assets of $2.328 billion in the review period as against a net incurrence of financial liabilities of $4.62 billion recorded in the preceding period.

“The current account indicated a positive outcome during the review period, recording a surplus of $1.105 billion as against a deficit of $1.544 billion and a surplus of $3.657 billion in the previous quarter and corresponding period of 2017, respectively. This development was largely attributable to the decrease in imports and payments on income.

“The surplus in the Goods Account increased significantly to $6.794 billion in Q4 2018 from surpluses of $3.76 billion in the preceding quarter and $5.473 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

“Export earnings rose by 2.8 per cent to $16.656  billion in Q4 2018 when compared with Q3 2018. It also indicated an increase of about 27.6 per cent when compared to corresponding Period of 2017. Earnings from crude oil and gas, which accounted for 93.8 per cent of total export earnings during the review period, increased by 2.1 per cent to $15.62 billion in Q4 2018 when compared with the preceding quarter, while earnings from non-oil and electricity exports increased by 15 per cent to $1.035 billion in Q4 2018 when compared with the preceding quarter.

“Available data showed that payments for import of goods (fob) to the economy in the review period decreased significantly by 21 per cent to $9.862 billion below the level recorded in the preceding quarter. This was largely as a result of 20 percent decrease in the imports of non-oil products.

“Net out-payments for services during the review period increased by 17 per cent to a deficit of $8.288 billion when compared with the level recorded in Q3 2018. When compared with the corresponding period of 2017, it indicated a much higher increase of about 77 percent.

“However, the deficit in the income account (net) decreased by 11 per cent to $3.714 billion in the review period from a deficit of $4.162 billion recorded in the preceding quarter. When compared with the level in the corresponding period of 2017, it indicated an increase of about 25 percent.

“The surplus in the current transfers (net) increased by 5.7 per cent to $6.312 billion in Q4 2018 when compared with the preceding quarter. However, the level of surplus was 8.0 percent higher than the level recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.

“Direct Investments inflow decreased by 28 percent to $314.44 million when compared with the preceding quarter of 2018. It however, indicated a decline of 67 percent when compared to the corresponding period of 2017.’’

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