Nigeria’s Q3 GDP growth rebounds from record low on oil sector improvement

By bne IntelliNews November 18, 2015

Nigeria’s real gross domestic product grew by 2.84% y/y in the third quarter, accelerating from a record low 2.35% expansion in the preceding quarter, as the oil sector recovered, while growth in non-oil GDP eased, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. In Q3 2014, the country’s GDP expanded by 6.23% y/y.

Compared to the preceding quarter, Africa’s largest economy grew 9.19%, speeding from a 2.57% rise in Q2.

Nigeria, has been severely affected by the oil price slump, as it relies on the oil and gas industry for nearly 90% of export income and more than 70% of overall government revenue. The weak oil prices trimmed budget revenues and foreign exchange earnings, leading to a slowdown in economic activity, forex market volatility and inflationary pressures. After election-related uncertainty at the beginning of the year, the peaceful transition of power spurred some optimism, but the newly elected president, Muhammadu Buhari, held up the appointment of cabinet for more than five months, while focusing on fighting corruption and the extremist Boko Haram group.

On November 11, General Buhari swore in the new ministers, with Kemi Adeosun, a former investment banker and London-educated auditor, taking the helm at the finance ministry with the task to turn Nigeria's economy around. She will be assisted by private equity fund manager, Okechukwu (Okey) Enelamah, the new minister of trade, investment and industry, to, hopefully, do a structural transformation of the economy in order to spur inclusive growth.

The oil sector of Africa’s biggest oil producer expanded by 1.06% y/y in Q3, reversing a 6.79% y/y contraction in Q2. In Q3 2014 the sector narrowed 3.59% y/y. The average daily crude oil production settled at 2.17mbpd, up from 2.05mbpd in Q2 and 2.15mbpd in Q3 2014. The oil sector contributed 10.27% to real GDP in Q3, up from 9.81% in Q2, but down from 10.45% in Q3 2014.

At the same time, growth in the non-oil sector decelerated to 3.05% in Q3 from 3.46% in Q2 and 7.51% in Q3 2014. Growth in agriculture and services slowed to 3.46% from 3.49% and to 3.97% from 4.67%, respectively, while the contraction in industry softened to 0.13% in Q3 from 3.31% in Q2.

The services sector accounted for the largest share of real GDP in Q3 – 49.7%, followed by agriculture with a share of 26.8% and industry with 23.5%.

Nigeria’s nominal GDP (at basic prices) was estimated at NGN24.3trn ($122bn) in Q3.

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