The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday that Nigeria’s economy would expand more slowly in 2019 than previously predicted.

This is against the backdrop of the recent drop in global crude oil prices, the

The IMF, in its World Economic Outlook Update, titled ‘A Weakening Global Expansion,’ revised down the country’s Gross Domestic Product projection for this year to two per cent from the 2.3 per cent projected in October 2018.

growth forecast for next year to 2.2 per cent from the 2.5 per cent it previously predicted.

The Washington-based fund said, “In sub-Saharan Africa, growth is expected to pick up from 2.9 per cent in 2018 to 3.5 per cent in 2019, and 3.6 per cent in 2020.

“For both years, the projection is 0.3 percentage point lower than last October’s projection, as softening oil prices have caused downward revisions for Angola and Nigeria.”

According to the report, the headline numbers for the region mask significant variation in performance, with over one-third of sub-Saharan economies expected to grow above five per cent in 2019–20.

The IMF downgraded its estimates for global growth for 2019 and 2020 to 3.5 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively from 3.7 per cent each as previously predicted, warning that the expansion seen in recent years was losing momentum.

It said emerging market and developing economies had been tested by difficult external conditions over the past few months amid trade tensions, rising US interest rates, dollar appreciation, capital outflows, and volatile oil prices.