Presidency gloats that economy defied IMF in 2016, slipped by Only 1.5%

Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance

Oscarline Onwuemenyi
01 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Office of the Vice-President on Tuesday said in 2016, the Nigerian economy performed better than the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected.

According to Presidential Adviser on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, the recently released data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1.30% in the fourth quarter of 2016″.

“This translated into an estimated growth rate of -1.51% for the full year 2016. These figures reflect the slow-down in the economy for most of 2016 but also show that the recession may have bottomed out because of an improving trend in several key sectors,” he said.

“Agriculture grew at 4.03% in the fourth quarter of 2016 which was a marginal decrease from the 4.54% growth in the third quarter.

“This is mainly because agriculture (especially crop production, which accounts for the bulk of agricultural production) is highly seasonal, with growth in the third quarter of the year usually higher than the others.

“Overall, the Nigerian economy performed better than expected even though we are still in the early stages of recovery. It is indeed noteworthy that overall 2016 growth was higher with a contraction at -1.5% than the -1.8% predicted by the IMF.”

He said the outlook for 2016 is positive, and that the country is in the early stages of recovery.

“Nevertheless, the overall outcome for the year was that the agricultural sector grew by 4.11% for the whole of 2016 which was higher than the figure of 3.72% for 2015,” he said.

In July 2016, the IMF predicted that Nigeria’s economy will contract by 1.8 percent year-on-year, but reviewed its forecast in October to say full year decline will be at 1.7 percent.

The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the Gross Domestic Product growth rate for the country with the economy recording a contraction of -1.3 per cent in growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The NBS in the report explained that in real terms, the economy recorded a decline of N240.8bn from N18.53trn in the fourth of 2015 to N18.29trn in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The negative decline of 1.3 percent, according to the NBS report was less severe than the negative decline of 2.24 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2016.

It reads in part, “In the fourth quarter of 2016, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product contracted by-1.30 percent (year-on-year) in real terms, from N18.53trn in Q4 2015 to N18.29trn.”

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