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Economy not there yet

20 November 2013, 08:32Okoro Chinedu

Lagos – Despite the local economy expanding at a quicker pace during the ongoing quarter of the year, a leading think-tank warned that the economy was not totally out of the woods as yet.

It was revealed recently that the economy grew at a faster pace in the last quarter of the year relative to the same period last year, registering 6.8 percent growth.   

“The third quarter gross domestic product growth figure adds credence to our view of an unchanged policy rate at Tuesday’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting."

"Despite an easing in inflationary pressures, the potential for fiscal slippage remains worrisome in light of diminishing government revenues, the continued reallocation of federal funds to the development of security infrastructure and overspend ahead of the 2015 presidential elections. "

"The CBN is unlikely to submit to broader pressures and should maintain a strict monetary policy stance in 2014, provided there is consistency following Governor (Sanusi Lamido) Sanusi’s departure,” Thando Vokwana, an analyst with Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Global Markets, pointed out.   

Vokwana meanwhile noted that the oil sector, the mainstay of the local economy, continued to wane in importance over the period under review, contributing a mere 12.5 percent to real gross domestic product growth compared 13.42 percent in the third quarter of last year.  

Despite a reopening of three major pipelines, oil production fell short of budgeted levels owing to technical problems and supply constraints.

The non-oil sector surged ahead, growing at 8 percent year on year.The acceleration in non-oil growth was broad-based.  

Notable performances were observed in the agricultural sector, supported by favourable weather conditions and government initiatives aimed at boosting activity, retail and telecommunications which grew at 9.0 percent and 24.6 percent respectively due to robust consumer demand and manufacturing which showed a vast improvement partly due to better oil refining and cement output.

– CAJ News   

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