Growth in Nigeria’s fragile economy slowed to 2.01% in the first quarter thanks to a poor showing from the country’s oil industry.
The annual pace dropped from the previous quarter’s 2.38%, when activity was likely to have been boosted by state spending in the run-up to February and March elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari won a second term.
The largely crude-dependent economy emerged from recession in 2017 and has been recovering in great part due to higher oil prices.
In the first quarter, the non-oil sector grew 2.47% while the oil sector shrank 2.40%, according to the statistics office. Crude production rose slightly to 1.96 million barrels per day from 1.91 million in the previous quarter.
Nigeria’s central bank has forecast growth of 3% for 2019.
Growth in the first quarter of 2018 was 1.89%.
The slowdown in growth could increase pressure on the Nigerian Central Bank to cut interest rates further when its announces its policy decision on Tuesday.