by Joachim MacEbong
The Nigerian Bureau of Statistic on Wednesday released a slew of new data on the economy covering GDP, inflation and unemployment figures.
Here are the top 6 observations.
- Recession confirmed: Nigeria’s GDP shrank for the second straight quarter, confirming that the economy is in a recession. 2nd quarter GDP came in at -2.06%, after declining by -0.36% in the first quarter. Of course, the economic has felt like it has been in recession already, and the numbers just confirm the observations of many people. Many have lost their jobs in the formal sector as firms have cut staff or folded up altogether.
- Unemployment rising: Following from the first point, the number of people in full time employment reduced by 351,350 from the 1st Again, this is no surprise. Many of us know people who have been let go in all sectors, and hiring has slowed to a trickle. Unemployment has risen for the seventh straight quarter, and is now 13.3%.
- Inflation rising: The inflation figure for July is 17.1%, up from 16.5% in June. According to the NBS, this was driven by increase in energy and energy related costs. However, the rate of inflation growth has indeed slowed.
- Manufacturing keeps declining: The manufacturing sector declined by -3.36%. This is the seventh straight quarter of decline. Construction also declined by -6.28%.
- The service sector contracts for the first time: For the first time since 2009, Nigeria’s service sector has shrunk by -1.25%. That sector had managed to keep growing in spite of the condition of the general economy, but it has now succumbed. It is a sector that employs a huge number of people, we must hope that this contraction is short. If not, many more jobs could be lost.
- Agriculture and solid minerals keep growing: The positives are that Agriculture and solid mineral sectors have continued to grow, at 4.53% and 2.5% respectively, and their contribution to GDP has also increased. Hopefully, this continues.
The summary of this is that right now, the bad news still outweighs the good news, and this should not be allowed to continue for long. Nigeria has too many unemployed people to be in a recession, and even the current situation was avoidable if the Presidency had heeded initial good advice.
That advice is being heeded now, albeit belatedly and unevenly, and it will take time for the situation to improve.