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IMF sees Nigeria’s economy dropping to 4th largest in Africa

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A new forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shown that the Nigeria’s economy, which ranked as Africa’s largest in 2022, is set to slip to fourth place this year after a series of currency devaluations.

According to IMF’s World Economic Outlook as reported by Bloomberg, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at $253 billion based on current prices this year, behind North African powerhouses Algeria at $267 billion, Egypt at $348 billion, and South Africa at $373 billion.

The report added that South Africa will remain the continent’s largest economy until Egypt reclaims the mantle in 2027.  Nigeria however is expected to remain in fourth place for years to come, the data released this week shows.

Nigeria has been battling economic challenges since President Bola Tinubu announced significant policy reforms including the end of the subsidy regime and the devaluation of the Naira. Despite a recent rebound, the currency is still 50% weaker against the greenback than it was before taking office after two currency devaluations.

Egypt, one of the emerging world’s most-indebted countries and the IMF’s second-biggest borrower after Argentina, has also allowed its currency to float, triggering an almost 40% plunge in the pound’s value against the dollar last month to attract investment.

Unlike Nigeria’s naira and Egypt’s pound, the value of South Africa’s rand has long been set in the financial markets and it has lost about 4% of its value against the dollar this year. Its economy is expected to benefit from improvements to its energy supply and plans to tackle logistic bottlenecks.

 

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