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Presidency reacts to below zero GDP decline, says Nigeria not doing bad

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The Presidency has hailed Nigeria’s second quarter (Q2) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to the NBS report, the country’s GDP fell by –6.10% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2020 while for the first half of 2020, real GDP declined by –2.18% year-on-year, compared with 2.11% recorded in the first half of 2019.

A statement by Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, titled; “Our response to Quarter 2, 2020 NBS figures, by Presidency,” said the decline of -6.1% (for Q2 2020) and -2.18 per cent (for H1 2020) was better than the NBS forecast of -7.24%.

“The figure was also relatively far better than many other countries recorded during the same quarter,” the statement noted, adding that, “despite the observed contraction in economic activity during the quarter, it outperformed projections by most domestic and international analysts.”

The presidential spokesman said that despite the contraction observed in economic activity in the quarter under review, the figure overshot projections made by many analysts – domestic and international.

“It also appears muted compared to the outcomes in several other countries, including large economies such as the US (-33%), UK (-20%), France (-14%), Germany (-10%), Italy (-12.4%), Canada (-12.0%), Israel (-29%), Japan (-8%), South Africa (projection -20% to -50%), with the notable exception of only China (+3%),” the statement added.

The government’s anticipation of the impending economic slowdown and the various initiatives introduced as early responses to cushion the economic and social effects of the pandemic, through the Economic Sustainability Programme (ESP), contributed immensely to dampening the severity of the pandemic on growth.


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