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WEST AFRICA CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SHOWS DIVERGENT SENTIMENT

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  • WEST AFRICA CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SHOWS DIVERGENT SENTIMENT

Lagos, 6 August 2018 – While Nigeria’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for the second quarter of 2018 has risen a very healthy nine points to 122, Ghana’s CCI for the same quarter has fallen 12 points to 108.

In terms of Nigeria’s performance Nielsen Sub Saharan Africa MD Bryan Sun comments; “The stability of forex rates and a steady Naira has led to stable retail prices of most manufactured goods and imported staples, resulting in a recovery in confidence levels in Nigeria. The improvements seen in the economic environment are reflected in the overall enhanced sentiment, with 83% of Nigerians describing the state of their personal finances over the next year as excellent or good.”

He goes on to explain that this has resulted in a more positive outlook in terms of Nigerian consumers immediate-spending intentions, which has risen to 48% (up from 38% in Q1) who say now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they need or want. This increasingly positive sentiment is also reflected in their job prospects, with 67% viewing them as excellent or good (up from 56% in Q1’18) and 29% as not so good or bad.

More cash, more spend

Looking at whether Nigerians have spare cash, a majority of 54% said yes, up nine points from the previous quarter, while 46% said no. Looking at what their spending priorities are once they do have spare cash, the highest number 86% would put it in savings followed by 82% on home improvements, 72% on new clothes and 67% would use their spare cash for both out of home entertainment and investing in shares and mutual funds.

When asked about the changes in their spending to save on household expenses, compared to this time last year, 80% of Nigerians agreed that they have changed their spending habits. In terms of the actions they took to save money last year, the highest number (66%) said they spent less on at home entertainment, followed by 57% who took less holidays, 42% who spent less on new clothes and 39% who delayed the replacement of major household
items.

Some of the major concerns driving this more cautionary mindset include 19% who think economy is their biggest concern over the next six months, whereas 12% consider food prices and 11% said work/ life balance is their biggest concern. When asked what their second biggest concern would be over the next six months, 19% said food prices, 13% said work/life balance and 12% mentioned job security.

Growing uncertainty in Ghana

From a stable confidence level in Q1’18, Ghana dropped 12 points this quarter to 108, the lowest since quarter 3, 2016. Sun comments; “Though consumer confidence in Ghana has declined in Q2’18, it still leans on the positive side, 100 being the neutral point on the index. The declining economic growth in Ghana, subdued performance in the non-oil and industrial sector, and poor agricultural performance has led to declining confidence levels this quarter.”

He adds that this uncertain sentiment is reflected by the six point drop in Ghanaians, down to 79%, who describe the state of their personal finances over the next year as excellent or good, and 17% (increase of 10% from Q1’18) who say that state of their personal finances is “not so good” or “bad”.

“It’s therefore no surprise that Ghanaian consumers’ immediate-spending intentions have declined, with only 35% of respondents (down from 48% in Q1’18) who say now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they need or want, versus the 61% who said it was not,” reports Sun.

This declining sentiment is also reflected in Ghanaians’ job prospects, which has dropped 11 points to 54% who view them as excellent or good and a 10 point rise to 39% who think their job prospects are not so good or bad compared to the previous quarter.

Disposable income

Looking at whether Ghanaians have spare cash to spend, there was an even 50/50 split between those respondents who said yes and no. Looking at what their spending priorities are once they do have spare cash, the highest number 78% would spend it on home improvements, 77% would put it into savings and 61% would spend on new clothes.

When asked about the changes in their spending to save on household expenses, compared to this time last year, 61% of Ghanaians agreed that they have changed their spending habits. In terms of the actions they took to save money last year, the highest number (49%) said they spent less on at home entertainment, followed by 48% who took less holidays, 32% who delayed the replacement of major household items and 31% who spent less of new clothes.

The factors driving this more cautionary mindset are embodied in Ghanaiansbiggest and second biggest concerns over the next six months. The highest number of respondents (14%) said health is their biggest concern, followed by work/life balance (13%), and food prices and the economy (both at 12%).

When asked about their second biggest concern over the next six months, 16% of respondents said work/life balance, 12% said their kids’ education/welfare, and food prices and higher fuel prices both recorded 11%.

Elaborating on these results, Sun says: “Despite the decline in confidence levels, Ghana’s outlook is still positive. A strong domestic demand and favourable performance on oil, cocoa, and gold, coupled with ongoing investment in the country, gives hope for a brighter second half in 2018 for the country, resulting in a revival of consumer sentiments and spend”.

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.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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