Nigerian Economy Grew by 6.56% as Inflation Rises to 9.1%

 Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Finance  MinisterThe Nigerian economy grew by 6.56 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013 helped by growth in the non-oil sector as the composite Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation rose to 9.1 per cent in April compared to the 8.6 per cent recorded in March.

Although the inflation rate remained at single-digit, it however, increased by 0.55 per cent above the 8.6 per cent recorded in March.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its latest CPI which index released Thursday blamed the rise in the headline index on higher price levels of food products due to the effect of declining inventories.

Meanwhile, the country's Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), though higher than the 6.34 per cent achieved in the corresponding quarter of 2012, fell short of the 6.99 per cent recorded in the fourth-quarter of last year.

The NBS, in its 2012 and first quarter 2013 GDP Estimates, which was also released yesterday, said the non-oil sector growth was enhanced by growth in the building and construction, hotels, real estate services, finance and insurance, manufacturing and solid minerals among others.
The sector recorded a 7.89 per cent growth in real terms in Q1 2013 compared to the 8.14 per cent achieved in the coresponding quarter of 2012.

However, growth in the sector was said to have declined following the relative decline in agriculture, telecommunications and wholesale and retail trade.
Real agricultural GDP in Q1 2013 stood at 4.14 per cent or about 0.23 per cent decline, compared to  the 4.37 per cent recorded in Q1 2012.

On the other hand, it said the oil sector contributed about 14.75 per cent to real GDP in the period under review, compared to 15.80 per cent in the corresponding quarter of 2012 and 12.59 per cent in Q4 of last year.

The NBS also put the daily average crude oil production at 2.29 barrels per day in Q1 2013, compared to the 2.35 barrels per day in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
The figures, when compared to the associated gas components represented a growth rate of -0.54 per cent in oil GDP in Q1 2013 compared with -2.32 per cent in Q1 2012.

It said the output in the oil sector had decreased in Q1 2013 relative to the corresponding quarter due to disruptions as a result of pipeline vandalism, oil bunkering and the force majure declared by Agip during the period of review.

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