The Statistician-General, Yemi Kale has hinted that the economy may expanded in the second quarter as factory and farming output improved, helping it recover from the first annual contraction in 25 years.
“Intuitively, we might be getting out of recession in the second quarter, but I can’t say until all the numbers are in,” Kale, who is also chief executive officer of the National Bureau of Statistics, said in an interviewWednesday at his office in Abuja.
“If it doesn’t happen in the second quarter, it will be a much more reduced negative, and it will definitely happen in the third quarter unless we have a new round of shocks in the later weeks.”
The economy shrank 0.5 percent in the first three months of the year, a fifth straight quarter of contractions. The economy declined 1.6 percent in 2016, the first full-year drop since 1991.
Of the six industries that make up more than half of the economy, manufacturing and farming will grow in the second quarter, trade and real estate will probably contract, while crude and telecommunications might shrink or expand marginally, Kale said.
Factory costs dropped in the quarter after the central bank introduced a window for investors to trade foreign currency at market-determined prices in April, making dollars more readily available to pay for imported inputs.