Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 2.24 percent in the third quarter of 2016, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), confirming that the economy is still in recession.
This marks the third consecutive quarter of 2016 in which the Nigerian economy experienced negative growth. GDP shrunk by 0.36 percent and 2.06 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively.
Nigeria’s economic woes can largely be attributed to the struggling oil sector, upon which much of the economy is dependent. According to the NBS report, oil production during the third quarter averaged at 1.63 million barrels per day, which is lower than the figure recorded in the second quarter. This gives the oil sector a real growth rate of -22.01 percent in the third quarter.
However, the non-oil sector, which recorded negative growth in the first two quarters of 2016, grew by 0.03 percent in the third quarter. The sectors that experienced positive growth include agriculture, metal ore mining, fishing, textile production, and health and human services, among others.
The agricultural sector’s growth rate of 4.54 percent should provide some optimism for Nigerians in the midst of the recession. While this is virtually the same as the second quarter’s growth rate of 4.53 percent, it represents a 1.07 percent increase from the corresponding quarter in 2015. Additionally, agriculture contributed 28.65 percent, in real terms, to the GDP in the third quarter, a 6.10 percent increase from the preceding quarter.
Despite the current recession, the Nigerian economy could grow by 2.5 percent in 2017, according to Moody’s, a major credit rating agency .
Download the full report from the NBS website here.