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All Eyes on MPC as GDP Growth Doubles to 1.4% in Q3

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  • All Eyes on MPC as GDP Growth Doubles to 1.4% in Q3

Following the report released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showing that the Nigerian economy grew by 1.4 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) of this year, effectively doubling the revised growth rate of 0.72 per cent recorded in the second quarter, market analysts and economists were of the view that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should at its two-day meeting slated to start Tuesday, commence gradual easing of its monetary policy.

Their position was further reinforced in the NBS report which showed that economic expansion in the third quarter was solely driven by Oil Sector Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which grew by 25.89 per cent in the third quarter, in contrast to Non-Oil GDP which contracted by 0.76 per cent during the period.

The NBS in its latest figures released Monday revealed that the nation’s GDP grew by 1.40 per cent in Q3 2017 (year-on-year), marking the second consecutive growth since the economy exited the recession in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017.

The new growth rate was 3.74 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 (-2.34 per cent) and higher by 0.68 percentage points than the GDP growth rate recorded in the preceding quarter (Q2 2017), having been revised by the statistical agency to 0.72 per cent, from 0.55 per cent.

The Q2 growth rate was revised, following revisions by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to oil output, culminating in revisions to Oil GDP in the period.

After contracting for five consecutive quarters, the Nigerian economy had exited the recession in Q2 2017, growing at 0.55 per cent (now revised to 0.72 per cent).

Analysing the Q3 economic output, the NBS put real GDP growth at 8.97 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N29,451,303.99 million in nominal terms, which was higher when compared to N26,537,651.01 million in Q3 2016, resulting in a nominal GDP growth of 10.98 per cent. The growth was higher relative to the one recorded in Q3 2016 by 9.15 per cent.

Real growth of the oil sector was put at 25.89 per cent (year-on-year) in Q3 2017, representing an increase of 48.92 per cent relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 and an increase of 22.36 per cent compared to Q2 2017, which was revised from 1.64 per cent to 3.53 per cent. Quarter-on-quarter, the oil sector grew by 21.10 per cent in Q3 2017.

As a share of the economy, the oil sector contributed 10.04 per cent of total real GDP in Q3 2017, up from the figure recorded in the corresponding period of 2016 and up from the preceding quarter when it contributed 8.09 per cent and 9.04 per cent to GDP respectively.

The non-oil sector, on the other hand, contracted by 0.76 per cent in real terms during the reference quarter. This was lower by -0.79 percentage points compared to the same quarter in 2016 and -1.20 percentage points lower the figure recorded in the second quarter of 2017.

In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 89.96 per cent to the nation’s GDP, lower than the share recorded in the third quarter of 2016 (91.91 per cent) and in the second quarter of 2017 (90.96 per cent).

The third quarter of 2017 saw the mining & quarrying sector (which consists of crude petroleum and natural gas, coal mining, metal ore and quarrying and other minerals sub-activities) record a nominal growth of 101.36 per cent (year-on-year), taking into account revised Q2 2017 data.

Crude petroleum and natural gas recorded a growth rate of 102.79 per cent, metal ore recorded 22.75 per cent and quarrying and other metals recorded 27.94 per cent respectively, maintaining strong year-on-year growth compared to the corresponding quarter growth rates of 2016 at 4.09 per cent, 17.11 per cent and 16.46 per cent respectively.

The mining & quarrying sector contributed 11.17 per cent to overall GDP in the third quarter of 2017, higher than the sector’s contribution in the third quarter of 2016 and the previous quarter at 6.15 per cent and 9.08 per cent respectively.

In real terms, the mining and quarrying sector grew by 25.44 per cent (year-on-year) in the third quarter of 2017. Compared to the third quarter of 2016 and second quarter 2017, it was higher by 48.09 percentage points and 21.93 percentage points respectively. Quarter-on-quarter, the sector recorded a growth rate of 20.84 per cent.

The contribution of the mining and quarrying sector to real GDP in the third quarter of 2017 stood at 10.19 per cent, higher than the 8.24 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016, and higher than the figure recorded in the second quarter of 2017, which was revised to 9.19 per cent.

The agricultural sector grew by 12.50 per cent year-on-year in nominal terms, showing an increase over the same quarter of 2016 by 5.13 percentage points but a slight decline by -0.03 percentage points when compared to the Q2 growth rate of 12.53 per cent.

Crop production remained the major driver of the sector, accounting for 91.97 per cent of the overall nominal growth of the sector.

In the third quarter of 2017, agriculture contributed 24.44 per cent to nominal GDP, which was higher than the rates recorded in the third quarter of 2016 and second quarter of 2017 at 24.11 per cent and 19.28 per cent respectively.

The manufacturing sector comprising thirteen activities posted a nominal GDP growth of 10.32 per cent (year-on-year) in Q3 2017, which was 13.25 percentage points higher than the growth recorded in the corresponding period of 2016 (-2.93 per cent), but -5.65 percentage points lower than the preceding quarter’s growth of 15.97 per cent. Quarter-on-quarter growth of the sector was put at 3.21 per cent.

The contribution of manufacturing to nominal GDP in the third quarter was 8.55 per cent, lower than the figures recorded in the corresponding period of 2016 at 8.60 per cent and for the second quarter of 2017 at 9.02 per cent.

Real GDP growth in the manufacturing sector in the current quarter of 2017 was -2.85 per cent (year-on-year), higher than the same quarter of 2016 by 1.53 percentage points and -3.49 percentage points lower than figure recorded in the preceding quarter.

The growth of the sector on a quarter-on-quarter basis stood at 2.59 per cent while real contribution to GDP in Q3 2017 was 8.81 per cent.

The electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector recorded a year-on-year growth of 25.88 per cent in the third quarter of 2017. This was 21.91 percentage points higher than the 3.97 per cent growth rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016, but -33.17 percentage points lower than the 59.05 per cent recorded in Q2 2017.

Quarter–on-quarter, the sector recorded a contraction of 10.14 per cent.

The contribution of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply to nominal GDP in the quarter under review was 0.54 per cent higher than the contribution made in the corresponding quarter of 2016 (0.48 per cent).

In real terms, the sector grew by 11.46 per cent in Q3 2017, an increase from the -6.68 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2016 but lower than the second quarter of 2017 growth rate of 35.50 per cent.

Quarter-on-quarter, the sector dropped at a rate of -10.63 per cent. The contribution of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply to real GDP in the quarter was 0.36 per cent.

The real growth rate of the construction sector in the third quarter of 2017 was recorded at -0.46 per cent (year-on-year), higher by 5.67 percentage points from the figure recorded in the previous year.

Relative to the preceding quarter, there was a decrease of -0.59 percentage points. Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by -22.07 per cent in real terms.

In the review quarter, its contribution to total real GDP was put at 3.04 per cent, lower than its contribution of 3.10 per cent in the previous year and in the previous quarter when it contributed 4.25 per cent.

For trade, the nominal year-on-year growth rate in the third quarter of 2017 stood at 0.47 per cent, indicating a drop by -14.93 percentage points and -4.38 percentage points lower compared to the third quarter of 2016 and second quarter of 2017 respectively.

The quarter-on-quarter growth rate for the trade sector was put at 1.57 per cent, while the sector’s contribution to nominal GDP in the third quarter of 2017 was 17.96 per cent, lower than the contribution in the same quarter of the previous year of 19.85 per cent. It was also lower than in the preceding quarter of 19.27 per cent.

In real terms, the trade sector’s year-on-year growth stood at -1.74 per cent, which was -0.35 percentage points lower than the figure recorded in the corresponding period in 2016 and -0.12 percentage points lower than the preceding quarter.

Quarter-on-quarter, growth stood at 1.50 per cent but in real terms, the trade sector’s contribution to GDP was 15.90 per cent lower than the 16.40 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016. This was also lower than the 17.07 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2017.

Also, in nominal terms, accommodation and food services grew by 8.74 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017, representing an increase of 6.02 percentage points relative to the same quarter of 2016, when the growth rate was 2.73 per cent.

Growth was also higher than the preceding quarter by 2.67 percentage points when growth was put at 6.08 per cent.

The sector’s contribution to nominal GDP was 0.84 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, slightly lower than the 0.86 per cent recorded in the previous year.

The real year-on-year growth rate for the sector in Q3 2017 was 0.18 per cent, higher by 5.06 percentage points of -4.88 per cent recorded in Q2 2016. Relative to the preceding quarter, the accommodation and food services sector’s growth rate was 4.23 percentage points higher than the -4.05 per cent recorded Q2 2017.

Quarter-on-quarter, real growth was put at 48.87 per cent while in the third quarter of 2017, the sector represented 0.86 per cent of real GDP, which was lower by a small margin than the contribution of 0.87 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2016, but higher than the second quarter 2017 contribution of 0.63 per cent.

In the transportation and storage sector made up of six activities, a 0.58 per cent growth in nominal terms was posted in the third quarter of 2017 (year-on-year). This rate was lower relative to the figure recorded (19.69 per cent) for the corresponding quarter of 2016 and 2.17 per cent in the previous quarter.

The fastest growing activity in the third quarter was air transport with a growth rate of 9.13 per cent year-on-year. Air transportation was followed by rail transport and pipelines at 4.91 per cent.

Transport contributed 1.43 per cent to nominal GDP, a drop from the 1.58 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, but higher than 1.40 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2017.

In real terms, the transportation and storage sector contracted by 6.25 per cent in Q3 of 2017. This rate represented a decline of -6.98 percentage points relative to the same quarter of the previous year and a decrease of -0.07 percentage points relative to the preceding quarter.

Quarter-on-Quarter, growth was put at 11.30 per cent in real terms. The contribution of the sector to real GDP in the third quarter of 2017 totalled 1.11 per cent, a drop from 1.20 per cent recorded in the previous year, but higher than 1.09 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2017.

The information and communications sector comprising the four activities of telecommunications and information services; publishing; motion picture, sound recording and music production; and broadcasting, declined in nominal terms contracted by 2.66 per cent (year-on-year) in the third quarter of 2017, a -11.92 percentage points decrease from 9.26 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2016.

This was also -5.31 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding quarter while the quarter-on-quarter growth rate was put at -15.87 per cent.

The information and communications sector contributed 8.69 per cent to total nominal GDP in the third quarter of 2017, lower than the 9.91 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2016 and 11.26 per cent in Q2 2017.

The sector slowed by -4.48 per cent in real terms year on year in Q3 2017. From the rate recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, there was a decline by -5.58 percentage points while quarter-on-quarter, the sector recorded a contraction of 15.77 per cent in real terms.

Of the total real GDP, the sector contributed 9.56 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, lower than the same quarter of the previous year and the preceding quarter by 10.15 per cent and 12.37 per cent respectively.

Similarly, nominal growth in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector was put at 3.45 per cent in the third quarter 2017 (year-on-year), representing a decrease of -9.35 percentage points relative to the same period a year earlier, and a decline 1.82 percentage points compared with the preceding quarter.

On a quarterly basis, growth was recorded at -11.74 per cent. The activity contributed 0.19 per cent to total nominal GDP, lower from the 0.20 per cent recorded in the third quarter of 2016 and equally lower than the 0.23 per cent it contributed in the preceding quarter of 2017.

In real terms, the activity grew by 0.44 per cent year-on-year, which was lower than the rate recorded in third quarter of 2016 by -1.54 percentage points, but higher by 1.06 percentage points when compared with that of the preceding quarter.

Quarter-on-quarter, growth decreased by -11.75 per cent in real terms. The arts, entertainment and recreation sector’s contributed 0.18 per cent to real GDP in the third quarter of 2017, which was relatively lower compared with 0.19 per cent recorded in the previous year and lower than the 0.23 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2017.

Presidency Attributes Growth to Policies

Reacting to the GDP growth numbers released Monday by the NBS, the presidency said the general improvement in economic output was triggered by improvements in the oil, agriculture and industrial sectors.

A statement by a media aide in the presidency, Mr. Laolu Akande, quoted the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Yemi Dipeolu, as describing the improvement as a continuation of the 0.55 per cent (revised to 0.72 per cent) growth recorded in Q2 2017, which led Nigeria out of the recession.

Akande said the Muhammadu Buhari administration welcomed the new growth figures and will continue to work diligently to ensure inclusive growth.

He said Dipeolu listed the factors that aided growth during the third quarter of the year to include the Social Intervention Programme, Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme, longstanding Budget Support Facilities to the states, plus other bailout packages, which ensured the comprehensive payment of workers’ salary and pension backlogs, among others.

“Equally, the federal government will be ramping up the implementation pace of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,” Akande said.

Dipeolu, who described the 1.4 per cent GDP growth rate as a steady continuation of the positive growth recorded in the second quarter of this year, observed that it was consistent with improvements in other indicators.

“The positive growth in Q3 was consistent with the improvements in other indicators. Foreign exchange reserves have risen to nearly $34 billion while stock market and purchasing managers indices have also been positive.

“The naira exchange rate has stabilised while inflation has declined to 15.91 per cent from 18.7 per cent in January 2017. While inflation is not declining as fast as desirable, it is approaching the estimated target of 15.74% for the year in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

“Agricultural growth was 3.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, maintaining the positive growth of the sector even when there was a slowdown in the rest of the economy.

“The industrial sector grew at 8.83 per cent mostly due to mining and quarrying. The oil sector grew very strongly as forecast in the ERGP and partly as a result of the policy actions in the plan to restore growth in the sector.

“The service sector is yet to recover but should soon begin to be positively affected by improvements in the real economy and the effects of the dedicated and focused capital spending of over N1.2 trillion on infrastructure by the federal government.

“It is expected that the economy will continue to grow given these developments and the reforms and improvements in the business environment shown by the upward movement of 24 places in the recently released World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report which was better than the target of 20 places specified in the ERGP.

“The overall picture that emerges is that the economy is on the path of recovery. As inflation trends downwards and with the steady implementation of the ERGP, real growth should soon be realised across all sectors in a mutually reinforcing manner,” Dipeolu stated.

All Eyes on MPC

Also commenting on the NBS report, the Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, Monday urged the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the central bank to commence gradual easing of its monetary policies at its meeting Tuesday.

“If I am still part of the MPC, I will vote for a reduction of the interest rate to about 13 per cent. GDP growth is now 1.4 per cent and inflation has come down to about 15 per cent. So now, the CBN should support that fiscal push by lowering the interest rate.

“The forex market is stable at about N360 to a dollar. So, this is the time for monetary policy to be accommodative. But we must not forget that we are still in an era of stagflation because unemployment is still very high, and inflation is still at double-digits.

“So, in the long run, we still need to make sure that the structure of our economy changes,” Ekpo who was a former MPC member stated.

Also, the chief executive of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, stressed the need for the central bank to loosen its tight monetary policy.

According to him, the fact that all other sectors in the GDP report apart from oil and agriculture were negative, should be a source of concern to the MPC.

“So, if you take away oil, we are technically still in a recession and that is because our interest rate is still high. So, the central bank needs to bring down the interest rate.
“All the interest rate sensitive sectors showed negative returns. The central bank must understand that it is time to bring down the interest rate. You can’t wait for the patient to get well before you begin treatment.

“The central bank is the only doctor I know that is saying the patient should get well before they can administer medicine. It is time to give a boost to the economy,” Rewane argued.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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ECOWAS@46: Commission Seeks Trade Partnership With OPS To Deepen Intra-African Trade

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in commemoration of its 46th anniversary has sought partnership with the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to deepen intra-African trade and lift millions out of poverty.

This was revealed yesterday by the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Brou, at a webinar organised in collaboration with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) yesterday.

The theme of the webinar is “Optimising Sustainable Trade, Investment and Regional Economic Integration through Effective Partnership between ECOWAS Institutions and the Organised Private Sector”.

Jean-Claude, represented by Mr. Kolawole Sopola, Acting Director, Trade, ECOWAS, said the commission, in recognition of the private sector’s role, created a stronger framework to boost the sector’s capacity for enhanced trade.

He said that the commission had also adopted more than 100 regional standards with 70 others under development on some products.

Brou listed mango, cassava, textile and garments as well as information and communication technology among such products.

“The growing importance of informal trade compels the ECOWAS to create a framework expected to engender more availability and reliability of up to date information on informal trade.

“The framework also seeks to implement reform that is essential to eliminate obstacles to informal trade among others.

“It is important to improve investment, particularly, private investment, in all sectors and I stress that digitalization must be at the center of activities for economic recovery.

“Infrastructural deficit must be addressed as well as sustainable and cheaper energy for the competitiveness of products.”

“The commission is developing projects on roads, renewable energy and education, needed for private sector development; all these to lift millions in the sub-region out of poverty,” he said.

Dr. George Donkor, President of, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) said that many western states showed numerous hurdles to overcome as countries continue to export raw materials, therefore maintaining low levels of development.

Donkor, however, said that reforms were already underway to accelerate the capacities of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to spur private sector development for intra-African trade.

He noted that the EBID 2025 strategy was aimed at ensuring that the private sector benefitted up to 65 percent of the $1.6 billion available facilities.

“A vibrant private sector is key in driving regional integration and securing its active participation and has the potential to create a win-win situation for all participants.

“Increasing credit to the private sector will enhance capacity and the EBID is ready with strategies to ensure that the sector’s capacity is boosted,” he said.

Also, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said that collaboration across societal sectors had emerged as one of the defining concepts of international development in the 21st century.

He stressed the need for ECOWAS member states to work together as a bloc to take advantage of the opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“Since the establishment of ECOWAS in 1975, various protocols and supplementary protocols regulating member countries conduct have been signed.

“Our world has limited resources — whether financial, natural, or human — and as a society we must optimize their use.

“The fundamental of a good partnership is the ability to bring together diverse resources in ways that we can together achieve more impact, greater sustainability and increased value for all.

“This is so because it emphasises the need to work together as a bloc to leverage and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“My Ministry will do everything possible to ensure that the vision of the commission is taken to the next level,” he said.

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IMF Retains 2.5 Percent Economic Growth Estimate For Nigeria

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has retained Nigeria’s 2.5 percent economic growth forecast for 2021.

The institution said this in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) for July titled “Fault Lines Widen in the Global Recovery” released on Tuesday in Washington DC.

According to it, the slow rollout of vaccines is the main factor weighing on the recovery for Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs) which Nigeria is part of.

It also retained its 6.0 percent growth forecast for the global economy for 2021 and 4.9 percent in 2022, adding that though the global forecast was unchanged from the April 2021 WEO, there were offsetting revisions.

The IMF had at its 2021 Virtual Spring Meetings in April, projected a 2.5 percent growth for Nigeria’s economy in 2021, up from 1.5 percent it projected in January.

It said that in LIDCs, the overall fiscal deficit in 2021 was revised up by 0.3 percentage points from the April 2021 WEO, mainly because of the re-emergence of fuel subsidies as well as the additional COVID-19 and security related support in Nigeria.

“Still, at 5.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the overall fiscal deficit remains well below that of advanced and emerging market economies, reflecting financing constraints, about 60 percent of LIDCs are assessed to be at high risk of or in debt distress.

“The public debt-to-GDP ratio for 2021 is projected at 48.5 percent.

“Several LIDCs have announced an intention to restructure their debts and some have sought debt relief under the G20 Common Framework (Chad, Ethiopia, and Zambia),” it said.

On the global scene, the IMF said that uncertainty surrounding the global baseline remain high, primarily related to the prospects of emerging market and developing economies.

It added that although growth could turn out to be stronger than projected, downside risks dominated in the near term.

“On the upside, better global cooperation on vaccines could help prevent renewed waves of infection and the emergence of new variants, end the health crisis sooner than assumed, and allow for faster normalisation of activity, particularly among emerging market and developing economies.

“Moreover, a sooner-than-anticipated end to the health crisis could lead to a faster-than-expected release of excess savings by households, higher confidence and more front-loaded investment spending by firms.”

On the downside, it said growth would be weaker than projected if logistical hurdles in procuring and distributing vaccines in emerging markets and developing economies led to an even slower pace of vaccination than assumed.

The report added that such delays would allow new variants to spread, with possibly higher risks of breakthrough infections among vaccinated populations.

“Emerging market and developing economies, in particular, could face a double hit from tighter external financial conditions and the worsening health crisis, further widening the fault lines in the global recovery.

“Weaker growth would, in turn, further adversely affect debt dynamics and compound fiscal risks.

“Finally, social unrest, geopolitical tensions, cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, or weather-related natural disasters, which have increased in frequency and intensity due to climate change could further weigh on the recovery.”

On ensuring a fast-paced recovery, the IMF said the highest priority was to ensure rapid, worldwide access to vaccines and substantially hasten the timeline of rollout relative to the assumed baseline pace.

According to it, the global community needs to vastly step up efforts to vaccinate adequate numbers of people and ensure global herd immunity.

This, it said, would save lives, prevent new variants from emerging and add trillions to the global economic recovery.

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FG to Put an End to N360 Billion Annual Electricity Subsidy Payments in 2022 – Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said the Federal Government will end an estimated N360 billion annual subsidy payments in the electricity sector in 2022. This represents a monthly subsidy payment of N30 billion.

Osinbajo disclosed this while speaking at the 14th Nigerian Association for Energy Economics/IAEE conference in Abuja on Monday.

At the conference titled “Strategic responses of energy sector to COVID-19 impacts on African economies“, the vice president, who was represented by Engr. Ahmad Zakari, the Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, said the federal government would be investing over $3 billion in the sector to strengthen distribution and transmission infrastructure across the nation.

He stated that the numerous efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari at ensuring the power sector plays a critical role in the growth of the nation’s social and economic well-being will materialise fully once the ongoing reform in the energy sector is complete.

He said: “Electricity tariff reforms with service-based tariff has led to collections from the electricity sector by 63 per cent, increasing revenue assurance for gas producers and stabilizing the value chain.

“It is anticipated that all electricity market revenues will be obtained from the market with limited subsidy from next year as reforms in metering and efficiency with the DISCOs continue to improve.

“Accelerated investment in transmission and distribution, over $3 billion will be out into this sub-segment of the electricity value chain that will put us on the path to delivering 10 gigawatts through the interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Siemens partnership, World Bank and Africa Development Bank, and others.”

He said as the electricity sector continued to be stabilized, more power was needed for the country’s large population.

“That is why this administration continues to invest in generation to cater for our current and future needs,” he said.

Osinbajo charged the participants to come up with solutions to key energy challenges facing the country, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic and energy transition.

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