The Nigerian economy contracted by – 0. 52 per cent in the first quarter of this year, the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth rate report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has shown.
The report, released on Tuesday, shows that with the economy maintaining a negative growth rate of -0.52 per cent, the nation is still in recession.
The report showed that the growth rate for the first quarter of 2017 shows an improvement over the revised -1.73 per cent GDP growth rate figure the nation recorded in December 2016 .
“In the first quarter of 2017, the nation’s GDP contracted by – 052 per cent (year on year) in real terms, representing the fifth consecutive quarter of contraction since Q 1 2016,” the NBS said in the report.
“This is higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 and higher by 1. 21 percentage points from rate recorded in the preceding quarter.”
The report is coming despite the government’s recent claims that the economy had been on its way out of recession.
Earlier in May, the minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun, had said that the nation would be out of recession soon.
The latest report shows that this is the fifth consecutive contraction in GDP growth rate that the economy would be recording since the first quarter of 2016.
“This is 0.15 per cent higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 (revised to –0.67 per cent from –0.36 per cent).
“This is higher by 1.21 per cent points from rate recorded in the preceding quarter (revised to –1.73 per cent from –1.30 per cent)
“Quarter-on-quarter, real GDP growth was –12.92 per cent,”’ the report stated.
During the quarter, the bureau stated that the aggregate GDP stood at N260 3 billion in nominal terms, compared to N22.2 billion in first quarter 2016 resulting in a Nominal GDP growth of 17.06 per cent.
The bureau said that oil production averaged 1.83 million barrels per day, 0.07 million barrels higher than the daily average production recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016.
It stated that oil production during the quarter was lower by 0.22 million barrels per day relative to the corresponding quarter in 2016, which recorded an output of 2.05 mbpd.
However, the bureau stated that real growth of the oil sector slowed by –11.64 per cent (year-on-year) in first quarter of 2017.
“This represents a decline of –4.81 per cent relative to rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016.
“Growth declined by 6.83 per cent and increased 6.06 per cent when compared to first 2016 and fourth quarter of 2016 respectively.”
Meanwhile, the bureau stated that growth in the non-oil sector was largely driven by the activities in the Agriculture Sector (Crop Production), Information and Communication, Manufacturing, Transportation and Other Services.
It stated that the non-oil sector grew by 0.72 per cent in real terms during the reference quarter.
“This was 1.05 per cent higher than the rate recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016, and 0.90 per cent higher than the corresponding quarter of 2016,’’ the bureau stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NBS officially declared the economic recession after negative growth in the first two quarters of 2016. (NAN)