Nigeria’s GDP Growth Slows Down To 1.87% In 2020Q1

Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Monday published data showing that the country’s economy slowed down for the first time after steady rise in the three preceding quarters beginning from the 2019Q2.

Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of the year slowed down to 1.87%, from 2.55% in the fourth quarter of last year, or the 2.1% in the first quarter of last year.

“This performance was recorded against the backdrop of significant global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 (Coronavirus pandemic) public health crisis, a sharp fall in oil prices and restricted international trade,” the NBS explained.

Before the latest figure by the NBS, Nigeria’s economy which had dropped from 2.38% in the 2018Q1, after which it fell to 2.1% in the following quarter, before rising for 2.12%, 2.28% and 2.55% in the following three quarters.

Nominal GDP for the period grew to N35.647tr, as against the previous first quarter’s N31.824tr; while real GDP stood at N16.74tr, representing a –14.27% quarter-on-quarter real GDP growth, compared to 5.59% recorded in the preceding quarter.

The weakness in the economy, the report noted, followed the decline in non-oil GDP growth to 1.55%, when compared to the 2.06% and 2.47% in the 2019Q4 and 2019Q1 respectively.

Oil GDP growth was slightly better at 5.06%, up from 4.59% in 2019Q4 and -1.46% in 2019Q1, which the report considered a reflection of “the earliest effects of the disruption, particularly on the non-oil economy.”

The non-oil sector accounted for 90.5% contribution to the GDP, down from the previous quarter’s 92.68%, and 90.78% in 2019Q1; while the oil sector was responsible for just 9.5%, which was better than the 7.32% and 9.22% in 2019Q4 and 2019Q1 respectively.

Oil production averaged 2.07m barrels per day, the highest since 2017Q4, up from 2.0mbpd and 1.99mbpd in 2019Q4 and 2019Q1 respectively; even as the service continued to dominate non-oil sector contribution with 54.39%; followed by industries, 23.65%; and agriculture, 21.96%.

In the non-oil sector, mining and quarrying activities grew by 4.58% in 2020Q1, after falling from 6.07% in the preceding quarter, but was an improvement over the -1.37% recorded in 2019Q1.

It was the same story for crude petroleum and natural gas under the mining and quarrying sector, as it grew by 5.06% in the period under review from 6.36% in Q4 2019 and -1.46% in Q1 2019.

Coal mining under mining and quarrying sector contracted by a significant -43.41% in Q1 2020, from -12.32% in Q4 2019 and 31.10% in Q1 2019; significantly better than the -83.03% contraction in the quarrying and other minerals under mining and quarrying sector, from -5.63% in Q4 2019 and 29.31% in Q1 2019.

Nigeria’s agriculture sector GDP grew by 2.20% in Q1 2020, down from 2.31% in Q4 2019 and 3.17% in Q1 2019.

Manufacturing sector grew by 0.43% in Q1 2020, a significant decline from the 1.24% reported in Q4 2019 and 0.81% in Q1 2019.

”Nominal GDP growth of the manufacturing sector in the 2020Q1 was recorded at 28.47% (year-on-year), or -7.97% points lower than figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 (36.45%), but 2.18% points higher than the preceding quarter’s rate of 26.29%.”

Trade sector GDP contracted by -2.82% in Q1 2020 from -0.58% in Q4 2019 and 0.85% in Q1 2019.

The nation’s finance and insurance sector recorded the most significant growth once again, at 24% in Q1 2020, compared to 22.33% in Q4 2019, and -9.21% in Q1 2019.

“As a whole, the sector grew at 23.96% in nominal terms (year on year), with the growth rate of Financial Institutions as 27.26% and 5.64% growth rate recorded for Insurance. The sector growth rate was higher than recorded in Q1 2019 by 27.92% points, and 0.63% points higher than the preceding quarter. Quarteron-quarter, growth was 3.08%. The sector’s contribution to the overall nominal GDP was 3.57% in Q1 2020, higher than the 3.23% it represented a year previous, and the contribution of 3.12 % it made in the preceding quarter.

“Growth in this sector in real terms stood at 20.79%, higher by 28.39% points from the rate recorded last year and up by 0.61% points from the rate recorded last quarter. Quarter-on-quarter, growth in real terms stood at 2.42%. The contribution of Finance and Insurance to real GDP totaled 3.81%, higher than the contribution of 3.21% recorded in the first quarter of 2019 by 0.60% points, and higher than 3.19% recorded in Q4 2019 by 0.62% points,” the NBS noted.

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