Oscarline Onwuemenyi, with agency reports
19 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – After a few quarters of negative growth that saw the death of businesses, the Nigerian economy is out of recession, but “conditions remain difficult for businesses,” World Economics said Tuesday.
World Economics is a London-based organisation dedicated to producing financial analysis, insight and data relating to questions of key importance to the world economy.
“April Sales Managers’ Index (SMI) data suggests that the Nigerian economy is continuing to grow out of the recession which saw 10 months of consecutive contraction in 2016,” it said in a release published on its website.
“The Market Growth Index grew to 58.5 in April as the monthly Sales Growth Index ticked up to 56.7, its highest value since 2015 and representative of rapid growth. Price inflation for April, which is tracked by the Prices Charged Index, remained high at 58.7 – indicative of high levels of inflation – however, a slowing trend has developed for the past 9 months.
Nigeria’s economy receded at the end of Q2 in 2016 after falling oil prices ate deep into the country’s earnings and caused the naira to weaken thereby causing inflation to spiral upward. Spates of attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta by militants, who were protesting for better deals from the government, almost crippled oil production.
But the government’s recent engagements in the oil-rich region, spearheaded by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has seen attacks on oil facilities petered out, at least, for now.
Last Thursday, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the inflation rate dropped by 0.52 percent in March to close at 17.26 percent, the second decline recorded in two months.
“This is the second consecutive month of a decline in the headline CPI on a year-on-year basis,” NBS said in its report.
“It represents the effects of stabilising prices in already high food and non-food prices as well as favourable base effects over 2016 prices.”
But World Economics noted that there are still issues the economy handlers need to fix before it can be out of the woods.
“Panelists have explained that although conditions remain difficult for businesses, they are adapting to the challenges and the recent changes to the Naira’s FX rate are aiding sales transactions.”
Overall, conditions in Nigeria have improved further over the past month and managers are expressing renewed optimism that the economy will continue to grow and regain strength after the recession.