Nigeria’s economy contracted for a fifth straight quarter, official figures showed Tuesday, as low oil production dented overall output.
Gross domestic product shrank by 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2017, an improvement from a 1.7 percent fall in the last quarter of 2016, said Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics as reported by .
Despite an encouraging pick-up of momentum in the non-oil sector, the latest reading disappointed expectations of a modest recovery and an exit out of a debilitating recession.
“It’s worse than what we’d expected,” said John Ashbourne, Africa economist at London-based Capital Economics.
“But if you remove oil, non-oil GDP increased. Manufacturing picked up and construction picked up,” Ashbourne said, “it’s a pretty positive set of figures in the sense that the contraction is easing.” As a result of attacks on oil and gas infrastructure in the oil-producing swamplands, last year production fell to a low of 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) and Nigeria’s growth contracted by 1.5 percent.
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