IMF says Nigeria economy to expand 1.5% this year and 1.7% in 2019

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    IMF raises 2019 GDP forecast for West African nation to 2.3%

    Sub-Saharan African economy to expand 3.8% next year, IMF says

    Sub-Saharan Africa has Nigeria to thank for better economic growth prospects next year.

    The region’s economy will probably expand 3.8 percent in 2019, the International Monetary Fund said in its World Economic Outlook update released Monday. That compares with a 3.7 percent prediction in April.

    The upgraded forecast “reflects improved prospects for Nigeria’s economy” and an increase in commodity prices. Gross domestic product in Africa’s most-populous nation will probably rise 2.3 percent, it said, lifting its estimate from 1.9 percent in April.

    Nigeria’s economy is recovering from the worst contraction in 25 years in 2016, which was caused by lower oil prices and output and shortages of foreign exchange to import raw materials.

    The IMF held its predictions for South Africa’s economy, saying it will expand 1.5 percent this year and 1.7 percent the next.

    ‘Improving Confidence’
    “Despite the weaker-than-expected first-quarter out-turn in South Africa, the economy is expected to recover somewhat over the remainder of 2018 and into 2019 as confidence improvements associated with the new leadership are gradually reflected in strengthening private investment,” the fund said.

    South Africa, the continent’s most-industrialized economy, hasn’t grown at more than 2 percent a year since 2013. GDP shrank the most in almost a decade in the first quarter as former President Jacob Zuma handed the reins to Cyril Ramaphosa. Zuma spent close to nine years in power, during which time the nation lost its investment-grade credit rating and policy uncertainty and unemployment increased.

    Nigeria and South Africa’s economies account for about half of the region’s GDP.

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    Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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