According to the IMF, Nigeria is set to overtake South Africa and reclaim its spot as Africa’s largest economy by the end of the year.
In its latest report, the IMF projected that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product would hit $415 billion at the end of this year, down from $493 billion at the end of 2015. Nigeria lost its position as the biggest economy on the continent to South Africa in August this year after the recalculation of the nation’s GDP due to the debasing of the Naira.
The IMF expects the Nigerian economy to grow by 0.6 per cent in 2017, while global growth is projected to slow to 3.1 per cent this year before recovering to 3.4 per cent in 2017.
It stated, “While growth in emerging Asia and especially India continues to be resilient, the largest economies in sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria, South Africa and Angola) are experiencing sharp slowdowns or recessions as lower commodity prices interact with difficult domestic political and economic conditions. Brazil and Russia continue to face challenging macroeconomic conditions, but their outlook has strengthened somewhat relative to last April.
“Activity weakened in sub-Saharan Africa, led by Nigeria, where (oil) production was disrupted by shortages of foreign exchange, militant activity in the Niger Delta, and electricity blackouts. Momentum in South Africa was flat, despite the improvements in the external environment, notably stabilisation in China. Elsewhere, resilience in Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Senegal and Tanzania partially offset generally softer activity across the region.”