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Businesses hopeful of better economy in December – CBN Survey

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Businesses in Nigeria are optimistic that the nation’s economy will record improvement this month relative to November, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s November 2020 Business Expectations Survey Report said on Friday.

The survey, which was conducted by the statistics unit of the CBN, involved 1,050 businesses across Nigeria and covered sectors like manufacturing, agric/services, wholesale/retail trade and construction.

Respondent firms spanned small, medium and large corporations covering import-oriented and export-oriented businesses with a response rate of 89.5 per cent.

“At -1.5 index points, the overall confidence index on the macro economy was pessimistic in November 2020.

Read also: Banks’ credit to the economy expands by N3.77tn in 15 months – CBN

“However, respondents are optimistic in their outlook for the month of December with a confidence index of 38.8,” the CBN report said.

“They also expressed optimism in the overall business outlook for January and May 2021 as shown in a greater confidence of the economy at 47.1 and 59.3 index points respectively.”

The pessimism of businesses regarding the macro economy in December derived from the bleak views of respondent firms in agric/services (-1.2 points), construction (-0.6 points) and wholesale/retail trade sectors (-0.3 points).

Agric/services at 23.1 points and manufacturing sectors at 11.3 points will be the major drivers of optimism in January, according to the CBN.

“Respondent firms’ opinion on the volume of business activities indicated a favourable business outlook for December 2020 and January 2021 with indices of 56.0 and 61.4, respectively.

“Businesses also hope to employ in December 2020 and January 2021 as the outlook was positive at 19.1 and 22.3 index points, respectively,” the CBN report said.

The firms believed that naira would depreciate this month but appreciate in next month, the next two months and in six month time.

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