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Nigeria may be headed for another recession as economy slows in Q2 2018

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The Nigerian economy has slowed for the second consecutive quarter this year, raising fears the nation may soon be heading for another economic recession.

According to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday, the rate at which the nation’s economy grew in the second quarter of 2018 slowed to 1.50 percent from 1.95 percent recorded in previous quarter.

The GDP growth rate is the rate at which the value of all goods and services produced within a country’s border in a given period is rising.

Nigerian economy had officially slumped into recession in the second quarter of 2016 after recording negative GDP for two consecutive quarters, according to NBS.

Nigeria, which relies on crude oil for 70 percent for its revenue and over 90 percent for its export earnings, slumped into its worst economic woes since 1987 by recording five consecutive negative GDP growth rates from -0.67 percent in Q1 2016 to -0.91 percent in Q1 2017.

The nation’s annual growth rate turned positive in Q2 2017 with GDP growth rate of 0.72 percent and sustained the positive trajectory for five quarters till Q2 2018.

The economy would enter another recession when the GDP figures turn negative for two consecutive quarters.

Read Also: Nigerian stocks hit 10-month low on Dangote drop, election risk

The data indicated that the oil GDP contracted by -3.95 percent from 14.77 percent in Q1 2018, while non-oil GDP grew by 2.05 percent from 0.76 percent in Q1 2018.

Last week, the Statistician-General of NBS, Yemi Kale, had attributed the downturn to the clashes between farmers and herdsmen in some parts of the country.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected that the nation’s economy would grow from 0.8 percent in 2017 to 2.1 percent in 2018 and 2.3 percent in 2019 on the back of an improved outlook for oil prices.

According to the global monetary authority, the forecast “reflects improved prospects for Nigeria’s economy” and supported by the increase in commodity prices like crude oil.

With the GDP figures for the two quarters, the nation now has an average GDP of 1.73 percent for the first half of 2018.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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Botswana central bank predicts fall of inflation rates, maintains monetary policy

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Botswana’s central bank has predicted that the country’s inflation rate will gradually fall back within its target range by 2024.

The bank is predicting that inflation will fall back within the 3%-6% range in the third quarter of 2024. The prediction has made it keep its monetary policy rate unchanged at 2.65% on Thursday.

The bank’s governor, Moses Pelaelo while speaking at a news conference said “the domestic economy will continue to perform below capacity in the medium term and therefore not pose any inflationary pressures.”

The inflation rate in the Southern African country dipped to 13.1% year on year in October from 13.8% in September but is still far above the central bank’s 3%-6% preferred band.

“The drop in inflation in the past months is due to the dissipating effects of previous increases in administered prices,” Pelaelo said.

According to the World Bank, Botswana’s reliance on diamonds and a public sector-driven model makes the economy vulnerable to external shocks, as diamonds contribute over 80% of total exports and are a major source of fiscal revenues.

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