Tuesday, 3 September 2019

HOT TOPIC COMMENT ON GDP FIGURES

Lukman Otunuga,
Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

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

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

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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 the CBN to cut interest rates for the second time this year in September in an effort to stimulate growth.

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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 the International Monetary Fund urging the nation to diversify revenues.

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