Latest GDP growth, proof of steady economic recovery – Presidency

The Presidency on Monday hailed the latest report that the country’s gross domestic product, GDP, grew by 1.40 per cent in real terms in the third quarter of 2017, saying the new figure highlights the ”steady recovery of the economy.”

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in its latest edition of the ‘Nigeria Gross Domestic Product Report’ published on Monday in Abuja said the country’s GDP, which represents aggregate value of all goods and services produced over a period, grew by 1.40 per cent in real terms in the third quarter of 2017.

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, said the report by the NBS was “a clear indication of ongoing progress and growth of the Nigerian economy.”

The NBS report showed that key sectors of the economy, namely oil, agriculture and industry led the way among others.

Welcoming the new growth figures, the Vice President, through his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said the Buhari administration would continue to work diligently on a daily basis to ensure inclusive growth in the economy through the active pursuit of policy initiatives.

Mr. Akande said such initiatives included, but not limited to the Social Investment Programmes, Anchor Borrowers Scheme, longstanding Budget Support Facilities to the States, plus other bailout packages, to ensure the comprehensive payment of workers’ salary and backlog of pension, among others.

Equally, the Federal Government said it would be ramping up the implementation of the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan, ERGP.

The latest figure, which represents the second consecutive positive growth since the country’s economy exited recession in the second quarter of 2017, builds on the previous quarters’ growth.

The report explained that the growth was about 3.74 per cent points higher than –2.34 per cent rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016.

The report also revealed that the figure was higher by 0.68 per cent points from about 0.72 per cent recorded in the second quarter of this year.

The second quarter growth figure was revised to 0.72 per cent from 0.55 per cent, following revisions by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of its oil output, from 1.87 million barrels per day to 2.1 million barrels per day, resulting in the adjustment of oil GDP.

Further analysis shows that quarter-on-quarter, real GDP growth was 8.97 per cent, while ‘Year to date Real GDP’ growth stands at 0.43 per cent.

In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP was valued at about N29.45 trillion.

In terms of nominal GDP value, the NBS said, the growth figure is higher when compared to N26.5 trillion recorded in third quarter of 2016, which resulted in a nominal GDP growth of 10.98 per cent.

“This growth is higher relative to growth recorded in Q3 2016 of 9.15 per cent”, the report noted.

The Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Adeyemi Dipeolu, said the latest NBS GDP figures reinforces the fact of the country’s exit from the 2016 recession.

“The positive growth in Q3 is 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”, Mr. Dipeolu said.

“The naira exchange rate has stabilised, while inflation has declined to 15.91 per cent, from 18.7 in January 2017. While inflation is not declining as fast as desirable, it is approaching the estimated target of 15.74 per cent 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 slow-down in the rest of the economy”, he added.

He said during the period the industrial sector grew at 8.83 per cent, mostly due to mining and quarrying, with the oil sector showing strong growth, 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, the adviser said, was yet to recover, although he said indications were that it would soon be impacted positively by the improvements in the real economy, with government’s capital spending of over N1.2 trillion on infrastructure.

“The economy will continue to grow given these developments and the reform, 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 Rankings 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 steady implementation of the ERGP, real growth should soon be realised across all sectors in a mutually reinforcing manner”, Mr. Dipoelu said.

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