Nigeria’s GDP Contracts for the First Time Since 2017

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SWITZERLAND, AUGUST 24 – Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased by -6.10% in the second quarter of 2020, indicating the first contraction of the economy since 2017.

This was indicated in the Q2 2020 GDP report released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The decline was largely attributable to significantly lower levels of both domestic and international economic activity during the quarter, which resulted from nationwide shutdown efforts aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The domestic efforts ranged from initial restrictions of human and vehicular movement implemented in only a few states to a nationwide curfew, bans on domestic and international travel, closure of schools and markets etc., affecting both local and international trade.

The efforts, led by both the Federal and State governments, evolved over the course of the quarter and persisted throughout.

When compared with Q2 2019, which recorded a growth of 2.12%, the Q2 2020 growth rate indicates a drop of -8.22% points, and a fall of -7.97% points when compared to the first quarter of 2020 (1.87%). Consequently, for the first half of 2020, real GDP declined by -2.18% year on year, compared with 2.11% recorded in the first half of 2019. Quarter on quarter, real GDP decreased by -5.04%.  Furthermore, only 13 activities recorded positive real growth compared to 30 in the preceding quarter.

In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N34,023,197.60 million in nominal terms, or 2.8% lower than the second quarter of 2019 which recorded an aggregate of N35,001,877.95 million. Overall, the nominal growth rate was -16.81% points lower than recorded in the second quarter of 2019, and -14.81% points lower than recorded in the first quarter of 2020. For better clarity, the Nigerian economy has been classified broadly into the oil and non-oil sectors. 

In real terms, the Non-Oil sector accounted for 91.07% of aggregate GDP in the second quarter of 2020, slightly higher than the share recorded in the second quarter of 2019 (91.02%)  as well as the first quarter of 2020 (90.50%).

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