Please note that in these Bulletins we use the official statistics issued by the National Bureau of Statistics. These are issued to 3 or in some cases 4 (e.g. inflation) significant digits. In an economy where up to 65% of the economic activity is in the formal sector, it is difficult to estimate to this number of significant digits. However, at PwC Nigeria we have taken the position for our reports to use the official numbers exactly as issued.

Potential for stead economic growth impacted by external shocks

The Nigerian economy, as reported by the NBS, recorded the slowest first-quarter growth since 2016 (post-recession), as real GDP rose by 1.87% year on year, from N16.57 trillion in Q1 2019 to N16.89 trillion in Q1 2020. This performance was due to the typical low-growth trend in economic activities, which usually occurs during the first quarter.

However, the low growth trend in Q1 2020 was further impacted by the twin shocks (demand and supply) to the global economy resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak and the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The latter factor led to the slowdown of the non-oil sector, which grew by only 1.55% in Q1 2020 compared with the 2.26% and 2.47% growth recorded I the preceding quarter of Q4 2019 and corresponding quarter in 2019 respectively. The slowdown in non-oil growth was primarily due to the low growth of the agricultural sectors, arts, entertainment & recreating sector, as well as further contraction in the trade, accommodation & food services, and real estate sectors respectively.

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