This brief report highlights the performance of the Nigerian economy in the first quarter of 2021. The report focuses on gross domestic product (GDP) and trade statistics. A closer look at the disaggregated GDP indicates that the growth of 0.51% in the first quarter of 2021 was driven by crop production, real estate, broadcasting, construction, telecommunication and financial institutions.
In the report, it was estimated that quarterly have to grow at an average rate of 2.5% in the remaining three quarters of the year to attain 2019 GDP. Hence, reforms are needed in the following sectors: transportation; insurance; arts, entertainment and recreation; accommodation and food service; and textile, apparel and footwear, to reduce the rate of contraction in the sectors and foster overall growth.
The other segment of the report describes Nigeria’s trade performance in the first quarter of 2021. It was seen that trade performance turns from a trade surplus of N1.78 trillion in the first quarter of 2018 to a trade deficit of N3.94 trillion in the first quarter of 2021. The magnitude of the trade deficit indicates the significant reliance of the economy on importation and the inability of the domestic market to sufficiently meet local needs.
For instance, the emergence of COVID-19 led to a significant increase in demand for chemical-related products. Consequently, the share of chemical-related products in total imports rose from 9.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 to 19 per cent in the first quarter of 2021. This indicates that specific industry supports are needed to reverse the trade condition. This is important given the current high level of unemployment in the country. By reducing importation through domestic production, jobs creation and wealth creation will increase. This, in turn, contributes to a reduction in poverty level as well as leads to an increase in the standard of living of people.
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