FG, IMF dis­agree over eco­nomic growth rate

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

Nige­ria and the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund have dis­agreed over how much the econ­omy will grow this year, with the gov­ern­ment say­ing 2.2 per­cent and the Fund opt­ing for just 0.8 per­cent.

Ei­ther would be an im­prove­ment on last year, when Nige­ria suf­fered its first re­ces­sion in more than two decades as low crude prices and oil pro­duc­tion slashed gov­ern­ment rev­enues and caused chronic dol­lar short­ages.

The gov­ern­ment’s fore­casts, seen by Reuters on Thurs­day, are con­tained in a doc­u­ment ti­tled: 2018-2020 Medium Term Fis­cal Frame­work and Strat­egy Pa­per, which forms the ba­sis for its 2018 bud­get, dated July 27.

It projects a big bounce back, to 2.2 per­cent this year, 4.8 per­cent in 2018 and 4.5 per­cent in 2019, be­fore reach­ing 7 per­cent in 2020.

The IMF, how­ever, is not as bullish, say­ing on Wed­nes­day it ex­pects Nige­ria’s econ­omy to grow by 0.8 per­cent this year, with threats to growth re­main­ing el­e­vated.

“I think that risks are to the down­side rather than the up­side, but 2.2 per­cent isn’t out­side the range of the pos­si­ble now that oil prices and oil out­put are re­cov­er­ing,” said John Ash­bourne, Africa econ­o­mist at Cap­i­tal Eco­nom­ics.

The OPEC mem­ber ex­pects oil pro­duc­tion to hit 2.3 mil­lion bar­rels per day and a price of $45 per bar­rel. It said oil pro­duc­tion reached 1.9 mil­lion bar­rels be­tween Jan­uary and June 2017, in­clud­ing con­den­sates.

Nige­ria has promised OPEC to cap its crude oil out­put at 1.8 mil­lion bpd, al­though it does not in­clude con­den­sates in this to­tal.


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