Nigeria has slipped into a second recession in five years after its gross domestic product (GDP) contracted for the second consecutive quarter, the data released by the statistician general, Yemi Kale, said on Saturday.
Africa’s biggest economy was last in recession in 2016, its first in a generation, and emerged the following year.
But growth had been fragile and the coronavirus pandemic hit the economy hard, as did low oil prices. The continent’s top oil exporter relies on crude sales for 90% of foreign exchange earnings.
The National Bureau of Statistics, in its Gross Domestic Product report for Q3, said the GDP, the broadest measure of economic prosperity, fell by 3.62 in the three months to September.
“Q3 2020 Real GDP contracted for second consecutive quarter by -3.62%,” Yemi Kale said on Twitter.
“Cumulative GDP for the first 9 months of 2020 therefore stood at -2.48%,” he added.
The government had previously said it expected the economy to contract by as much as 8.9% this year in a worst-case scenario without stimulus.
Last month, the World Bank revised its 2020 forecast for Nigeria’s economy to -4.1 per cent from its previous projection of -3.2 per cent, saying the country’s near-term outlook was subject to “considerable uncertainty”.
The bank had said in June that the collapse in crude oil prices, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, was expected to “plunge the Nigerian economy into a severe recession, the worst since the 1980s”.
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