There is a significant improvement in the economy, based on a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), an official of Ministry of Budget and National Planning has said..
The Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Akpandem James, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday that the 2016 fourth quarter of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed some development in the economy.
He said that the report by NBS indicated that things were getting better.
“Although the numbers are still negative, indicators in the critical sectors show some encouraging improvements compared to those of the previous six months and also signposting a gradual recovery from recession.
“The report shows GDP contracted by -1.30 per cent in the quarter which translates to an estimated growth rate of -1.51 per cent for the full year 2016.
“Though the released figures reflect the slow-down in the economy for most part of that year, it also shows that the economy is gradually scaling up as indicated by improving trends in several key sectors.
“In virtually all the sectors, the trend indicates an improvement in nominal and real terms.
“There are indications that coupled with the slowing down of the rate of growth in month-on-month inflation; the trend will enable a return to positive growth in the economy very soon.”
James said that agriculture which was the focus of the administration had continued to improve; capital importation making some progress and confidence returning gradually in the markets.
He said that agriculture, crude oil levels, manufacturing and the country’s trade balance, among others, showed steady progress in the last quarter of 2016 when compared with the third quarter figures.
“Manufacturing is still negative but growth in the fourth quarter was the best in 2016 while government’s intervention and engagements in the Niger Delta have boosted crude oil production and export levels.
“For the first time since 2015, the country’s trade balance is positive and although inflation is still going up, the month-on-month trend is slowing down and also improving.
“Same with manufacturing which, although still posting a negative figure, is an improvement on the third quarter outing,’’ James said.
According to him, oil sector declined by -12.38 per cent in real terms (year-on-year) in the fourth quarter of 2016.
He said that was an improvement relative to the previous quarter, when the sector declined by -22.01 per cent compared to the 2015 fourth quarter figure of -8.23 per cent.
James said that for 2016, oil production was estimated at 1.833 million barrels per day compared to 2.13 million barrels per day in 2015.
“This reduction has largely been attributed to vandalism in the Niger Delta region.
“As a result, the sector contracted by -13.65 per cent; a more significant decline than that in 2015 of -5.45 per cent.
“This reduced the oil sector’s share of real GDP to 8.42 per cent in 2016, compared to 9.61 per cent in 2015.”
Real agricultural GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 was 4.03 per cent (year-on-year), representing an increase of 0.56 per cent from 3.48 per cent recorded in the same quarter in 2015.
However, he said this was slightly less than the real growth rate of 4.54 per cent recorded in the previous quarter.
“In contrast to the economy as a whole, for full year 2016, real GDP in agriculture grew by 4.11 per cent, and this growth rate was higher than that recorded in 2015 of 3.72 per cent.
“The contribution of Agriculture to overall GDP in real terms was 25.49 per cent in the quarter under review.
“It is higher than its share of 24.18 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2015, but less than 28.65 per cent share recorded in the previous quarter due to its highly seasonal nature.
“For 2016 as whole, agriculture increased its share relative to 2015, to 24.43 per cent, due to its relatively strong growth rate.’’
The manufacturing sector grew on a quarter-on-quarter basis by 1.89 per cent but declined over the year by 4.32 per cent reflecting the problems that the sector faced during the year, due to a combination of factors.
He said that the metal ores sub-sector grew by 7.03 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 as against 6.93 per cent in the last quarter of 2015.
The aide said that the growth justified the priority that the Federal Government had continued to give the solid minerals sector.
“It is expected that if the current trend of improving indicators is sustained, the economy will come out of recession very soon,’’ James said. (NAN)