Nigeria’s economy slips into recession

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A vendor wearing protective latex gloves holds Nigerian naira banknotes and a contactless payment terminal in a store in Lugbe district in Abuja, Nigeria, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The government of Nigeria, whose revenue could be slashed by more than half this year due to the oil-price slump, finalized plans for a revised budget that keeps spending almost intact, and that will mean more borrowing. Photographer: KC Nwakalor/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A vendor wearing protective latex gloves holds Nigerian naira banknotes and a contactless payment terminal in a store in Lugbe district in Abuja, Nigeria, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The government of Nigeria, whose revenue could be slashed by more than half this year due to the oil-price slump, finalized plans for a revised budget that keeps spending almost intact, and that will mean more borrowing. Photographer: KC Nwakalor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nigeria’s economy has slipped into recession for the second time in four years as oil prices plunged amid the COVID-19 pandemic, official data released on Saturday shows.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 3.62 percent year-on-year in real terms in the third quarter of 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported.

“Cumulative GDP for the first 9 months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48 percent,” the NBS said.

The economy shrank by 6.1 percent in Q2, indicating that two consecutive quarters of negative growth have been recorded in 2020, the NBS said.

With the two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, Nigeria — Africa’s largest economy — has officially slipped into recession.

In 2016, the biggest oil producer in Africa fell into recession, the first time in over two decades. Since emerging in 2017, it has been seeking ways to fully recover from the slowdown.

The statistics bureau classified the Nigerian economy into the oil and non-oil sectors. It blamed the slow oil production and the COVID-19 pandemic for the economic contraction.

For the oil sector, it said that the average daily oil production recorded in the third quarter of 2020 stood at 1.67 million barrels per day, lower than the average production recorded in the same quarter of 2019 and the production volume recorded in the second quarter of 2020.

The real growth for the oil sector was -13.89 percent year-on-year in Q3 2020, indicating a sharp contraction of 20.38 percent relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

The NBS added that the oil sector contributed 8.73 percent to total real GDP in Q3 2020, down from 9.77 percent and 8.93 percent respectively recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 and the preceding quarter in 2020.

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