INTERNATIONAL Monetary
Fund (IMF) says rise in oil prices,
continued growth in agriculture,
and big government spending will
drive Nigeria’s economic growth
to 0.8 percent in 2017. IMF chief
economist, Maurice Obstfeld,
who unveiled the fund’s World
Economic Outlook in Washington
yesterday said global growth will
continue with the help of advanced
economies and emerging, low
income countries.
“We project the world economy to
grow at a pace of 3.5 percent in 2017,
up from 3.1 percent last year, and 3.6
percent in 2018. Acceleration will
be broad based across advanced,
emerging, and low income
economies, building on gains we
have seen in both manufacturing
and trade,” Obstfeld said.
He added that commodity prices
“have firmed since early 2016, but
at low levels, and many commodity
exporters remain challenged –
notably in the Middle East, Africa,
and Latin America”.
“At the same time, a combination
of adverse weather conditions
and civil unrest threaten several
low-income countries with mass
starvation. In Sub-Saharan Africa,
income growth could fall slightly
short of population growth, but
not by nearly as much as last year.”
The outlook also explained how
Nigeria will return to growth after
an economic decline of 1.5 percent
in 2016.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, a modest
recovery is foreseen in 2017. Growth
is projected to rise to 2.6 percent
in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018,
largely driven by specific factors
in the largest economies, which
faced challenging macroeconomic
conditions in 2016,” the outlook
read.
“After contracting by 1.5 percent
in 2016 because of disruptions
in the oil sector coupled with
foreign exchange, power, and fuel
shortages, output in Nigeria is
projected to grow by 0.8 percent
in 2017 as a result of a recovery in
oil production, continued growth
in agriculture, and higher public
investment.”
The IMF also said “inflation in
2017 is expected to remain at doubledigit
levels in a few large economies
in sub-Saharan Africa (for example,
Nigeria, Angola, Ghana), reflecting,
among other factors, the pass
through of large depreciation”.
Despite Brexit shocks, the UK is
projected to grow at two percent
— the fastest economic growth
for the advanced economies in the
European Union.
The US economy is projected to
grow at 2.3 percent in President
Donald Trump’s first year in office.
Meanwhile after a few quarters of
negative growth that saw the death
of businesses, the Nigerian economy
is out of recession, but “conditions
remain difficult for businesses,” a
group known as World Economics
said on Tuesday.

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