Kemi Adeosun

 

The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the Gross Domestic Product report for the first quarter of this year, thus showing reduction in the economy to the tune of 0.52 per cent.

With the negative growth rate of -0.52 per cent, the Nigerian economy is still in recession.

However the rate of growth for the first quarter of 2017 is an improvement over the revised -1.73 per cent GDP growth rate as of December 2016.

The NBS report read in part, “In the first quarter of 2017, the nation’s GDP contracted by 0.52 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms, representing the fifth consecutive quarter of contraction since Q1 2016.

‚ÄúThis is higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 and higher by 1.21 percentage points from the rate recorded in the preceding quarter.‚ÄĚ

However, the rate of growth, which is an improvement over the previous quarter, appears to be in line with the expectations of the Federal Government that the country will come out of recession by June this year.

Commenting on the NBS GDP report for the first quarter of the year, the president’s aide responsible for the economy, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, said growth continued in agriculture during the quarter under review, while a notable positive turnaround was equally recorded in the manufacturing and non-oil sectors, adding that the contraction recorded in Q1 showed a deceleration in several sectors.

“This outlook is reinforced by positive trends in other indicators such as improved oil prices and increased production, rising foreign exchange reserves, increased capital spending by the federal government as well as improved perceptions reflected in various purchasing and sales managers indices.
‚ÄúBarring major economic shocks, it should still be possible to restore growth this year as projected in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,‚ÄĚ he said.