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West African Consumer Confidence Drop Slightly in Q3, 2019

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  • Ghanaian consumer confidence declines by four points
  • Nigerians consumer confidence also subdued

Lagos, 11 December 2019 – Ghana’s latest Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for the third quarter of 2019 shows a slight drop to 114 from the previous quarter’s buoyant 118, while Nigeria’s CCI has also decreased by five points to 122. These two sets of results present a fairly stable, albeit a slightly less positive picture of consumer sentiment across West Africa compared to the previous quarter.

Looking at Ghana’s overall performance, Nielsen Market Lead for West Africa, Yannick Nkembe comments; “The initial optimism experienced at the beginning of the year is waning in Ghana owing to the concerns around the economy. Though inflation levels dropped, these have not shown a meaningful impact at the ground level and Ghanaians continue to feel the pressure. Consumers have become cautious of spending as they are not certain of future prospects.”

This more subdued outlook is reflected by Ghanaian consumers’ curtailed view of their job prospects, with a substantial 12 point decrease to 51% saying job prospects will be excellent or good in the next 12 months. In terms of the state of their personal finances over the next 12 months, 72% say they are excellent or good, down from 74% in the last quarter. The number of Ghanaian consumers who feel now is a good or excellent time to purchase the things they need or want, has also seen an inconsequential drop quarter on quarter, from 46% to 45%.

Looking at whether Ghanaians have spare cash, only 42% say yes, down a substantial 10 points from the previous quarter. Once they meet their essential living expenses, the highest number of consumers (82%) still say they will put their spare cash into savings, followed by 66% on home improvements/decorating and 59% who will invest in stocks and mutual funds.

When looking at the factors that are having a negative impact on Ghanaians outlook, the top concerns over the next six months are increasing food prices (26%) followed by work/life balance at 22%, the economy and tolerance towards different religions, both at 18%, and job security coming in fourth at 16%.

In light of their outlook, more than three quarters (72%) of Ghanaians have changed their spending to save on household expenses compared to the same time in the previous year. The top three actions they have taken to save money are delaying the replacement of major household items (55%), looking for better deals on loans/insurance/credit cards (54%) and spending less on new clothes (53%).

A drop in sentiment in Nigeria

The third quarter also saw a drop in sentiment in Nigeria with consumer confidence decreasing by five points to 122, albeit it is still higher than the same quarter last year (118).

Commenting on the recent decline in consumer sentiment, Nielsen MD for Nigeria, Ged Nooy says; “Nigerians are experiencing a subdued confidence level considering that inflation has started to rise again and the proposed VAT increase bill, which is making people cautious. Furthermore, the rising sovereign debt and the anxiety around further Naira devaluation, continued to impact consumer sentiment in Nigeria in the third quarter.”

Looking at the consumer picture, Nigerians immediate-spending intentions has shown a large decline; with only 41% of consumers (versus 54% in the previous quarter) saying now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they want or need. Their perception around job prospects has also declined, with 55% viewing them as excellent or good – a five point drop from the previous quarter.

In addition, sentiment around the state of personal finances has also shown a decline, with 76% Nigerians agreeing their state of personal finances will be excellent or good over the next year, a six point drop from the previous quarter.

Looking at whether Nigerians have spare cash to spend, 47% said yes, versus 51% in the previous quarter. In terms of their spending priorities once they meet their essential living expenses, 76% would invest in home improvements/decorating, 72% would put their spare cash into savings and 62% say they will invest in shares/mutual funds.

Looking at the top concerns for Nigerians over the next six months, work/life balance tops the list with 28% – a one point increase compared to the previous quarter. This is followed by concerns around increasing food prices at 22% (the same as Q2’19) and tolerance towards different religions (19%) superseding the economy, which is now at 16% – a four point decrease compared to the previous quarter.

Elaborating on these results, Nooy says; “Nigerian consumer sentiment dropped this quarter, however it is still quite high compared to the cut off of 100, where anything above 100 reflects a positive consumer confidence. The key for marketers and retailers is to understand these fluctuating consumer sentiments and quickly adapt to the consumer’s needs.”

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 Prices Decline on Rising India COVID-19 Cases, U.S Inflation Concerns

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Global oil prices extended a decline on Friday following a 3 percent drop on Thursday as coronavirus cases rose in India, one of the world’s largest oil consumers.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 35 cents or 0.5 percent to $66.70 a barrel at 5 am Nigerian time on Tuesday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell by 28 cents or 0.4 percent to $63.54 per barrel.

The commodity super cycle rally just hit a hard stop and the energy market doesn’t know what to make of Wall Street’s fixation over inflation and the slow flattening of the curve in India,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

The crude demand story is still upbeat for the second half of the year and that should prevent any significant dips in oil prices,” he added.

Prices dropped over a series of key economic data that stoke inflation concerns and forced experts to start thinking the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates to curb the surge in inflation.

An increase in interest rates typically boosts the U.S. dollar, which in turn pressures oil prices because it makes crude oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.

This coupled with the fact that India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, recorded more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths for a second straight day on Thursday, dragged on the oil outlook in the near term.

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Brent Crude Rises to $69 on IEA Report

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices rose after the release of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA)  closely-watched Oil Market Report, with WTI Crude trading at above $66 a barrel and Brent Crude surpassing the $69 per barrel mark.

Prices jumped even though the agency revised down its full-year 2021 oil demand growth forecast by 270,000 barrels per day (bpd) from last month’s assessment, expecting now demand to rise by 5.4 million bpd. The downward revision was due to weaker consumption in Europe and North America in the first quarter and expectations of 630,000 bpd lower demand in the second quarter due to India’s COVID crisis.

The excess oil inventories of the past year have been all but depleted, and a strong demand rebound in the second half this year could lead to even steeper stock draws, the IEA said yesterday, keeping an upbeat forecast of global oil demand despite the weaker-than-expected first half of 2021.

However, the upbeat outlook for the second half of the year remains unchanged, as vaccination campaigns expand and the pandemic largely comes under control, the IEA said.

Moreover, the global oil glut that was hanging over the market for more than a year is now gone, the agency said.

“After nearly a year of robust supply restraint from OPEC+, bloated world oil inventories that built up during last year’s COVID-19 demand shock have returned to more normal levels,” the IEA said in its report.

In March, industry stocks in the developed economies fell by 25 million barrels to 2.951 billion barrels, reducing the overhang versus the five-year average to only 1.7 million barrels, and stocks continued to fall in April.

“Draws had been almost inevitable as easing mobility restrictions in the United States and Europe, robust industrial activity and coronavirus vaccinations set the stage for a steady rebound in fuel demand while OPEC+ pumped far below the call on its crude,” the IEA said.

The market looks oversupplied in May, but stock draws are set to resume as early as June and accelerate later this year. Under the current OPEC+ policy, oil supply will not catch up fast enough, with a jump in demand expected in the second half, according to the IEA. As vaccination rates rise and mobility restrictions ease, global oil demand is set to soar from 93.1 million bpd in the first quarter of 2021 to 99.6 million bpd by the end of the year.

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OPEC Expects Increase In Global Oil Demand Raises Members’ Forecast on Crude Supply

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The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) yesterday lifted its forecast on its members’ crude this year by over 200,000 bpd and now expects demand for its own crude to average 27.65mn bpd in 2021.

This is almost 5.2mn bpd higher than last year and around 2.7mn b/d higher than an earlier estimate of the group’s April production.

According to the highlights of the organisation’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), OPEC crude is projected to rise from 26.48 million bpd in the second quarter to 28.7 million bpd in the third and 29.54 million bpd in the fourth quarter of the year.

The report also indicated a fall in Nigeria’s crude production from 1.477 bpd in February to 1.473, a difference of just about 4,000 bpd before rising again in April to 1.548 million bpd, to add 75,000 bpd last month.

OPEC stated that its upward revision of members’ crude was underpinned by a downgrade in the group’s forecast for non-OPEC supply, which it now expects to grow by 700,000 bpd to 63.6mn b/d against last month’s report’s projection of a 930,000 bpd rise to 63.83mn bpd.

The oil cartel projected that US crude output would drop by 280,000 bpd this year, compared with its previous forecast for a 70,000 bpd decline.

On the demand side, OPEC kept its overall forecast unchanged from last month’s MOMR, stressing that it expects global oil demand to grow by 5.95 million bpd to 96.46 million bpd this year, partly reversing last year’s 9.48mn bpd drop.

Spot crude prices fell in April for the first time in six months, with North Sea Dated and WTI easing month-on-month by 1.7 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

On the global economic projections, the cartel said stimulus measures in the US and accelerating recovery in Asian economies might continue supporting the global economic growth forecast for 2021, now revised up by 0.1 percent to reach 5.5 percent year-on-year.

This comes after a 3.5 percent year-on-year contraction estimated for the global economy in 2020.

However, global economic growth for 2021 remains clouded by uncertainties including, but not limited to the spread of COVID-19 variants and the speed of the global vaccine rollout, OPEC stated.

“World oil demand is assumed to have dropped by 9.5 mb/d in 2020, unchanged from last month’s assessment, now estimated to have reached 90.5 mb/d for the year. For 2021, world oil demand is expected to increase by 6.0 mb/d, unchanged from last month’s estimate, to average 96.5 mb/d,” it said.

The report listed the main drivers for supply growth in 2021 to be Canada, Brazil, China, and Norway, while US liquid supply is expected to decline by 0.1 mb/d year-on-year.

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