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Nigeria’s economic growth quickened in the first quarter as oil output started to recover and manufacturing production increased for the first time in a year.

Gross domestic product in the continent’s biggest oil producer expanded 0.5% in the three months through March from a year earlier, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in a report published on Twitter on Sunday. That compares with 0.11% growth in the fourth quarter.

Nigeria's economic recovery continued in the first quarter

The median of three economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for an increase of 0.9%. The slow pickup in growth could reinforce central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele’s view that it’s still too early to increase the key interest rate from 11.5%.

Emefiele has said the monetary policy committee can only shift to fighting inflation that’s at an almost four-year high once the economy’s recovery from last year’s recession gains some traction. The MPC starts a two-day meeting on Monday and Emefiele will announce the outcome of the deliberations on Tuesday.

Bloomberg Economics says that they still expect a modest rebound this year, with GDP on track to recover by more than 2%. Inflation is also expected to remain above target. However, they don’t expect the Central Bank of Nigeria to hike rates until later in the year, when it is confident in the strength of the recovery.

Crude output rose to 1.72 million barrels per day in the first quarter from 1.56 million in the last quarter of 2020. But production is still below what it was before the coronavirus-linked lockdowns decimated demand and prices fell. Oil GDP contracted by 2.2% compared with a drop of 19.8% in the previous three months.

While oil contributes less than 10% of the country’s GDP, it’s a key driver of growth and provides most of the hard currency needed to power other industries and finance the government.

The non-oil economy expanded by 0.79% from a year earlier, picking up pace with manufacturing growing 3.4% and telecommunications increasing 7.7%.

Inflation unexpectedly eased in April for the first time in nearly two years, but at 18.1% it’s still double the top of the central bank’s target range. The rate has remained high even with economic underperformance since the oil crash of 2014. GDP could grow 2.5% this year and 2.3% in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“The MPC will be emboldened to keep monetary policy rate steady given the lower inflation” and positive growth number, said Gbolahan Taiwo, an economist with Stanbic IBTC Bank in Lagos.

Nigeria’s economic growth quickened in the first quarter as oil output started to recover and manufacturing production increased for the first time in a year. Gross domestic product in the continent’s biggest oil producer expanded 0.5% in the three months through March from a year earlier, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in a report published on Twitter on Sunday. That compares with 0.11% growth in the fourth quarter. The median of three economists’ estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for an increase of 0.9%. The slow pickup in growth could reinforce central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele’s view that it’s still

Women clutching handbags stashed with dollars, euros, Saudi riyal and Indian rupees in Djibouti are a common sight on the busy streets of this East African nation. These women help refugees from Yemen, foreign traders or Ethiopian truck drivers exchange forex. The money changers are keeping the informal economy going. Medina, who only gave her first name, estimated she held the equivalent of one million Djiboutian francs, or $5,600/ €4,700 in multiple currencies. "It’s a decent job, it's better than being jobless. You work to earn a living for your children. When you sit here you have a cash flow, you don't need

It is no longer news that Nigeria was once the giant of Africa; these recent times have called for a re-evaluation of the country’s economic stand and position. Despite the fluctuations in the world prices from 1960 to 1961, the Nigerian GDP was at a growing rate because exports were on the increase. Food produced by farmers was sufficient to feed the entire nation. Several developmental strides were witnessed across every sphere of the country as a result of the infrastructure put in place from the proceeds of the farm produce. However, in these current times and seasons, the tables have turned.

South Africa’s economy recorded its first annual contraction in 12 years in 2020 due to the pandemic but it extended its rebound in the last quarter, official data showed Tuesday. The country’s gross domestic product shrank by 7.0 percent in 2020 compared to a 0.2 percent expansion a year earlier, statistics agency StatSA said in a statement. The drop was “primarily led by decreases in manufacturing, trade, catering and accommodation,” it said. It was the first recession since 2009, when GDP fell by 3.2 percent. But the economy — already in recession when it was hit by the virus — showed signs of resilience

New Release: The African Economic Congress 2020 Report.