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Nigeria’s economy shrinks by 1.2% in 2023’s first quarter




The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has said that Nigeria’s economic growth in the first quarter of 2023 stood at 2.4 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), representing a shrinkage of 1.2%.

OPEC made this known in its monthly Oil Market Report for August obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday.

OPEC said this was against a growth of 3.6 per cent in fourth quarter of 2022, an indicator of 2023 anticipated slowdown.

According to the report, after Nigeria’s economy grew by 3.3 per cent in 2022, it is forecast to decelerate in 2023.

It said high inflation continued to burden the Nigeria’s economy.

“Inflation data for June shows an ongoing acceleration, with an annual rate of 22.8 per cent y-o-y, following 22.4 per cent y-o-y in May and 22.2 per cent in April and 22 per cent in March.

“Food inflation has been a key factor in this rise, reaching 25.1 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in June, after 24.8 per cent y-o-y in May.

“A combination of factors including conflict, the impact of climate change, population pressures, and the below-average output of the agricultural sector, exacerbated the scarcity of food resources over recent years,’’ it said.

To assist, it said the Nigerian government had unveiled a comprehensive financial package amounting to N500 billion.

To lower inflation, the report said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) lifted the key policy rate by 25 basis points to 18.75 per cent in July.

As a consequence of the ongoing challenges, it said in May 2023, Stanbic IBTC Bank Nigeria Purchasing Managers Index retracted to stand at 51.7 in July, after a level of 53.2 in June was reached.

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