Nigerian economy grows 1.4 pct in Q3: stats office

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A towel with a print of the Nigerian naira is displayed for sale at a street market in the central business district in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos February 4, 2016. Picture taken February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye/File - RTSJQR1

LAGOS – Nigeria’s economy grew 1.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the statistics office said on Monday, extending its slow climb out of its first recession in a generation. Africa’s largest economy returned to growth in the second quarter of 2017 but the recovery has been fragile due to the continuation of depressed oil revenues and a shortage of hard currency.

The National Bureau of Statistics said oil production, on which the OPEC member state’s economy largely relies, stood at 2.03 million barrels per day in the third quarter.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2017 budget outlines record levels of spending, especially on infrastructure, to try to kick-start growth, but the plan has faltered.

The budget was delayed as lawmakers withheld approval, and even when passed, planned capital spending has been slow to happen.

Despite these problems, Buhari’s government is proposing record spending of 8.6 trillion naira ($27.30 billion) for 2018, although economists have questioned whether that goal is realistic.

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