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AfDB says Nigeria’s GDP to contract between 4.4% and -7.2%

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AfDB says Nigeria’s GDP to contract between 4.4% and -7.2%
African Development Bank (AfDB)

…Budget, Current account deficit to widen

By Peter Egwuatu

THE African Development Bank, AfDB has projected that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product; GDP, would contract by between -4.4 percent and -7.2 percent in 2020, depending on the gravity and duration of the Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19.

In its African Economic Outlook, 2020 – supplement launched yesterday, the bank stated: “Nigeria is facing rapidly weakening macroeconomic conditions, triggered by the sharp decline in price of oil to below $30  a  barrel  in  March  2020,  from  more  than  $60  at  the  start of the year. The pandemic has also had cascading impact through reversed investment flows, volatile financial markets, and disruptions in travel and tourism. “Real  GDP  is  projected  to  contract  by  between  4.4%  and  7.2%  depending  on  the  gravity  and  duration  of  the  pandemic,  wiping  out  gains  from  the  three  consecutive  years of growth since the 2016 recession.”

The report noted that crude  oil  and  gas  account  for  an  estimated  90 percent  of  the country’s total  export  earnings  and  more  than  50 percent of  her fiscal  revenues.

The report added: “The  government  projects  oil  revenues  to  decline  by  90%  in  2020  due  to  the  decline  in  oil  price  triggered  by low demand. Coupled with growing expenditure pressures to mitigate the COVID–19 health and socioeconomic impacts, the budget deficit is projected to widen to 6.7% in the baseline scenario, with potential to deteriorate to 7.8% if the pandemic persists beyond the second half of 2020.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s oil export to fall by 50% this year — Fitch Ratings

“Lower oil exports will deepen the current account deficit to between 4% of GDP in the baseline scenario and 5% in a worst-case scenario, wiping out the pre-COVID–19 projected marginal surplus.

“Despite the likely improvement in farm  produce  as  wet  season  starts,  subdued  consumer  demand and lower than expected growth in bank credit, inflation  is  forecast  to  increase  to  14%  in  2020  from  the  11.1% projected before the crisis.

“The COVID–19 pandemic has morphed into a socio-economic crisis with far reaching implications on jobs and poverty.

Meanwhile, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research Department, African Development Bank, Dr. Hanan Morsy, noted in the presentation of the Economic outlook that, “under the baseline scenario, real GDP in Africa is projected to contract by 1.7 percent in 2020. In the worst scenario, GDP could fall by -3.4 percent in 2020.”


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