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World Bank surprised at Nigeria’s quick exit from recession

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World Bank lowers Nigeria’s 2018 growth forecast to 1.9%

The World Bank has stated that Nigeria made an early exit out of recession than projected in its October 2020 forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

This was contained in the World Bank’s latest Africa Pulse Report for April 2021 titled, ‘COVID-19 and the Future of Work in Africa: Emerging Trends in Digital Technology Adoption.’

According to the bank, Nigeria’s oil sector weakened in the fourth quarter of 2020 despite an increase in oil prices.

Ripples Nigeria had reported in November 2020 that Nigeria had slid into its worst economic recession in over three decades with a contraction of 3.62 percent.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in February 2021, revealed that the country exited its second recession in five years by a slight increase of 0.11 percent.

Read also: World Bank upgrades Nigeria, other African countries’ economic growth outlook for 2021

In the World Bank report, the real gross domestic product (GDP) in west and central Africa contracted by an estimate of 1.1 percent in 2020.

“Following a 6.1 percent year-on-year contraction in 2020Q2, Nigeria’s economy contracted by 3.6 percent in 2020 Q3, and expanded by 0.1 percent in 2020 Q4, moving out of recession faster than expected,” the report read.

“For the year, Nigeria’s real GDP is estimated to have contracted by 1.8 percent, a stronger outturn than projected in the October 2020 forecast.”

According to the report, Nigeria is expected to return to growth in 2021, partly owing to higher commodity prices, however, the recovery will remain sluggish.

“Despite higher oil prices, Nigeria and other oil exporters are expected to face a slower recovery compared with the rest of the sub-region, where activity is projected to strengthen.”

World Bank further projects that Nigeria’s real GDP will rebound from a 1.8 percent contraction in 2020 to moderate growth of 1.4 percent in 2021.

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