Nigerian Economic Growth Slows to 2.1% as Oil Industry Contracts


Growth in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, slowed in the fourth quarter as oil prices fell and manufacturing sank deeper into recession.

Gross domestic product expanded 2.1 percent from a year earlier, compared with 2.8 percent in the third quarter and 5.9 percent in the last three months of 2014, the National Bureau of Statistics said in an e-mailed report on Tuesday. The median of 11 economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for growth of 2.85 percent. The economy expanded 2.8 percent last year, the slowest pace since 1999, according to World Bank data.

Tumbling oil prices have battered Nigeria, which relies on crude for two-thirds of government revenue. The economy will grow by an estimated 3.2 percent this year and 4.9 percent in 2017 as long as the government boosts investment in infrastructure, according to the International Monetary Fund. The Washington-based lender wants the government to diversify its income sources, broaden the taxpayer base and pass new legislation governing the oil sector.

Oil output fell to 2.16 million barrels a day from 2.17 million barrels in the third quarter. The oil industry contracted 8.28 percent in the three months through December compared with expansion of 1.1 percent in the previous quarter, the statistics office said. Growth in the non-oil industry, which accounts for 90 percent of GDP, was little changed at 3.1 percent. Manufacturing contracted 3 percent, extending the recession in the industry.

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