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Nigeria: Economic growth in Q1 decelerates to over-two-year low

June 1, 2015

Nigeria’s GDP by expenditure decelerated to a 3.9% annual expansion in Q1 according to data released on 1 June. The print marked a sharp deceleration over the 6.4% increase tallied in Q4. The result represented the weakest expansion since Q4 2012 and mainly reflected a deterioration in private consumption and the external sector.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), private consumption slowed to a 7.2% annual increase in Q1 (Q4: +10.6% year-on-year), while government spending soared to a 42.8% expansion (Q4: +16.6% yoy) as authorities sped up expenditures ahead of the March elections. Gross fixed investment growth slowed from 12.5% in Q4 to 9.7% in Q1.

On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services plummeted 18.3% annually in Q1 (Q4: -14.5% yoy) mainly due to low oil prices. Import growth slowed to 6.0% (Q4: +12.0% yoy). As a result, the external sector’s net contribution to growth fell from minus 3.9 percentage points in Q4 to minus 5.1 percentage points in Q1.

The National Bureau of Statistics expects the economy to expand 5.5% this year and 5.8% in 2016. FocusEconomics panelists project the economy to grow 4.5% in 2015, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2016, panelists expect the economy to grow 5.4%.


Author: Ricard Torné, Head of Economic Research

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Nigeria GDP Q115 0

Note: Year-on-year changes of GDP in %.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast.


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