WorldStage Newsonline-- The Nigerian economy growth has slowed down as its Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on an aggregate basis, grew by 6.17 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 as against 7.13 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2011.
The dip in the GDP growth rate, which represents about 0.96 per cent decrease, was attributed to decreases in the performances of both the oil and non-oil sectors of the economy.
But, the report on the economy’s performance for the Quarter under review published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS ) on Wednesday however surpassed government’s earlier growth of 5.34 per cent forecast for the quarter, a development which reflected the resilience of the domestic economy to the depressive spill-over effects of the current debt and other economic crisis plaguing the Asian and European economies.
According to the NBS, despite the dip in the Q1, 2012 GDP performance, the economic fundamentals still portend improved growth rate for the economy in the second quarter of 2012 as a result of recent sectoral policies in the non-oil sector.
The NBS stated: “The 0.96 percentage point decrease in real GDP growth recorded in the first quarter of 2012 was as a result of decrease in both oil and non oil sectors (manufacturing, wholesale and retail, telecommunication, among others).
“The first quarter of 2012 witnessed a decline in economic activity due largely to the partial removal of subsidy on petrol, the subsequent civil protest and weaker consumer demand following the higher price levels across major segments of the economy.
“Higher costs of production and prevailing security concerns also contributed to the decline in growth rate of real GDP during the period. The nominal GDP for the first quarter of 2012 was estimated at 9,142,858.51 million naira as against the 8,311,227.61 million naira recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2011,” the Bureau added.
A breakdown of the performance indices on sectoral basis showed that the oil sector’s contributions to the GDP decreased as crude oil production and associated gas components dropped in real terms of -2.32 per cent when compared with the 0.05 per cent growth recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. The average daily production in million barrels per day (mbpd) for Q1 of 2012 was 2.35 mbpd as against 2.51 mbpd produced in the Q1 of 2011
Similarly, although the non-oil sector continued to be a major driver of the economy and performed better than the oil sector in the quarter under review with overall 7.93 percent growth in real terms, it still recorded 0.8 per cent decline when compared with the 8.73 per cent growth recorded in the corresponding period of 2011.
The statistical agency reported that in terms of agricultural output, the real agricultural GDP growth in the first quarter of 2012 stood at 4.15 percent as against 5.54 percent in the corresponding period of 2011, attributing the decline to the low activities by farmers during the period.
On the performance of the financial services sector, the report showed further that the effects of the ongoing reforms, particularly the CBN and NAICOM’s interventions, had continued to yield positive result in stabilizing and maintaining improved performances in the sector.
NBS noted however that in spite of the banking sector’s improved performance, “the financial sector in general suffered a setback arising largely from the slow recovery in the capital market.”