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1.9% GDP growth for Q4 2017 is good news, say economists




Prof. Yemi Kale, DG, National Bureau of Statistics

The Nigerian economy grew for the third consecutive time to 1.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to data released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday as economic experts claimed this is a good omen for the country.

Renowned economist and managing director, Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane told Channels TV that the latest GDP data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) leaves Nigerians with something to cheer at as five of the ten sectors captured in the report grew in Q4 2017.

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The GDP report showed that the country’s economy expanded in Q4 2017 by 1.92 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms, maintaining its positive growth since the emergence of the economy from recession in Q2 2017.  “This growth is compared to a contraction of –1.73% recorded in Q4 2016 and a growth of 1.40% recorded in Q 2017,” it noted.

“Three quarters of consecutive growth is good news for the country. It shows that technically and practically we are out of recession. There is no relapse in the economy,” explained rewane.

“It points to the fact because the foreign exchange challenges that the manufacturing sector was having before is being eased out. Although there are still some areas that have not been address, but the easing of doing business is improving,” asserted Ambrose Oruche, director, corporate affairs, manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

The NSE report stated that real GDP grew  4.29 per cent quarter on quarter, while  2017 recorded a real annual growth rate of 0.83 per cent higher by 2.42 per cent than –1.58 per cent recorded in 2016.

“In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N31,209,137.74million in nominal terms higher when compared to N29,169,058.99 million in Q4 2016, resulting in a Nominal GDP growth of 6.99%. This growth is lower relative to growth recorded in Q4 2016 at 12.49%. Nominally, 2017 recorded an annual growth rate of 12.05% higher by 4.25% compared to 2016 annual growth of 7.80%. The broad classification into the oil and non-oil sectors will give a clearer depiction of the Nigerian economy,” it specified.

Transportation sector, which expanded by 16.57 per cent in Q4 2017 from -6.25 per cent in Q3 2017 and -5.32 per cent in Q4 2016, was significant to growth the economy recorded during the period under review.

Electricity, Gas ,Steam and Air Conditioning Supply sector also helped in the expansion of the economy as it grew by 16.43 per cent in full year 2017 from -15% in 2016 and -9.25% in 2015.

The oil sector made less contribution to the economy in Q4 2017, growing just 8.38 per cent compared to 25.89 per cent in Q3 2017. The non-oil sector was up 1.45 per cent during this period instead of -.076 per cent in the previous quarter.

“Four sub-activities make up the Agricultural sector: Crop Production, Livestock, Forestry and Fishing. The sector grew by 10.13% year-on-year in nominal terms, showing an incline from the same quarter of 2016 by 3.68% points but a decline by -2.37% points is recorded when compared to the preceding quarter’s growth rate of 12.50%.”

Moses Ojo, head, research, PanAfrican Capital Plc opined that the economy would perform better this year as the government would spend more infrastructure due to the forth coming general elections.

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