IMF Forecasts 3.2% Growth for Nigeria in 2023

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Nigeria would witness a 3.2 per cent economic growth in 2023 and 3.0 per cent in 2024, in line with April’s WEO projections, reflecting security issues in the oil sector just as currency depreciation and inflation grip Africa’s largest economy.

This is part of a wider drop as global growth is projected to fall from 3.5 per cent in 2022 to 3.0 per cent in 2023 and 2024.

The global lender disclosed this in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update Report for July 2023: Near-Term Resilience, Persistent Challenges, which said though the forecast for 2023 was modestly higher than predicted in the April 2023 WEO, it remained weak by historical standards.

“Compared with projections in the April 2023 WEO, growth has been upgraded by 0.2 percentage points for 2023, with no change for 2024.

“The forecast for 2023–24 remains well below the historical (2000–19) annual average of 3.8 per cent.

“It is also below the historical average across broad income groups, in overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as per capita GDP terms. ”

The report said advanced economies continued to drive the decline in growth from 2022 to 2023, with weaker manufacturing, as well as idiosyncratic factors, offsetting stronger services activity.

“For advanced economies, the growth slowdown projected for 2023 remained significant, from 2.7 per cent in 2022 to 1.5 per cent in 2023.

“About 93 per cent of advanced economies are projected to have lower growth in 2023, and growth in 2024 among this group of economies is projected to remain at 1.4 per cent.”

While the report said in emerging markets and developing economies, the growth outlook was broadly stable for 2023 and 2024, although with notable shifts across regions.

“For emerging market and developing economies, growth is projected to be broadly stable at 4.0 per cent in 2023 and 4.1 per cent in 2024, with modest revisions of 0.1 percentage point for 2023 and –0.1 percentage point for 2024.”

The report showed growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to decline to 3.5 per cent in 2023 before picking up to 4.1 per cent in 2024.

The report said global headline inflation was expected to fall from 8.7 per cent in 2022 to 6.8 per cent in 2023 and 5.2 per cent in 2024.

“Underlying (core) inflation is projected to decline more gradually, and forecasts for inflation in 2024 have been revised upward. ”

It said inflation could remain high and even rise if further shocks occur, including those from an intensification of the war in Ukraine and extreme weather-related events, triggering more restrictive monetary policy.

The report said financial sector turbulence could resume as markets adjust to further policy tightening by central banks.

“China’s recovery could slow, in part as a result of unresolved real estate problems, with negative cross-border spillovers.

“Sovereign debt distress could spread to a wider group of economies.”

It, however, said on the upside inflation could fall faster than expected, reducing the need for tight monetary policy, and domestic demand could again prove more resilient.

The report said in most economies, the policy priorities remained to achieve sustained disinflation while ensuring financial stability.

“Therefore, central banks should remain focused on restoring price stability and strengthening financial supervision and risk monitoring.

“Should market strains materialise, countries should provide liquidity promptly while mitigating the possibility of moral hazard.

“They should also build fiscal buffers, with the composition of fiscal adjustment ensuring targeted support for the most vulnerable.

The report said improvements to the supply side of the economy would facilitate fiscal consolidation and a smoother decline of inflation toward target levels.

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