Nigeria’s GDP growth declined 0.16% in Q2, 2019

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Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 0.16 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.

NBS also revealed that the GDP grew by 1.94 per cent in real terms within the same period.

According to the report, compared to the second quarter of 2018, which recorded a growth of 1.50 per cent, the growth observed in Q2 2019 indicates an increase of 0.44 per cent.

However, when compared to 2.10 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2019, the Q2 2019 real growth rate indicates a decline of 0.16 per cent.

“During the quarter, aggregate GDP stood at N34,944,151.61 million in nominal terms, an increase of 13.83% over the performance in the second quarter of 2018 and 9.8% over the preceding quarter,” the report noted.

NBS said that the performance observed in Q2 2019 follows an equally strong first-quarter performance, and was likely aided by stability in oil output as well as the successful political transition.

Overall, a total of 15 activities grew faster in Q2 2019 relative to last year, while 13 activities had higher growth rates relative to the preceding quarter.

On a half-year basis, real growth in the first half of 2019 stood at 2.02 per cent, higher than in 2018 which was 1.69 per cent.

When analysed quarter on quarter, real GDP increased by 2.85 per cent compared to a decline of –13.69 per cent in the preceding period.

Reacting to the new GDP figures, Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,said:

“Investor confidence over the health of Nigeria’s economy is being tested after economic growth slowed in the second quarter of 2019.

Nigeria’s GDP slowed to 1.94 per cent from the 2.1 per cent achieved in the first quarter of 2019 as oil output declined slightly. One would have expected economic momentum to pick up after Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cut interest rates in March and forced lenders to dish out more credit in a bid to boost growth.

“However, it is becoming quite clear that as long as oil dependence remains one of Nigeria’s biggest risk, this will continue weighing heavily on the economy for the rest of 2019. The disappointing GDP data should nudge CBN to cut interest rates for the second time this year in September in an effort to stimulate growth.

“While lower rates have the potential to keep the economy running, the answer to Nigeria’s woes can be found in diversification. The level of progress the nation has made in breaking away from the shackles of oil reliance remains a question for many with even International Monetary Fund urging the nation to diversify revenues.”