April 6, 2014

Bloomberg: Nigerian Economy Overtakes South Africa’s on Rebased GDP

Nigerian Economy Now Largest in Africa
Bloomberg reported today that Nigeria’s economy has surpassed South Africa’s as the largest on the African continent after the West African nation overhauled its gross domestic product data for the first time in two decades.

The size of the economy is now estimated at 80.3 trillion naira ($491 billion) for 2013, as compared to the World Bank’s 2012 GDP figures of $262.6 billion for Nigeria and $384.3 billion for South Africa.

The agricultural sector's share of GDP in 2013 declined from 34.69% in the old GDP series, to a forecast 21.97% in the new series. Industry saw a similar drop from 36.26% under the old series to a 25.64% forecast for 2013. The oil and gas sub-sector was the biggest loser. It showed a decline from 32.43% in 2013 under the old series, to a much lower 14.4% share.
Meanwhile, the services sector's share of GDP went from around 29% in 2013 under the old series to a forecast 51.89% in the new series.

The rebasing also revealed the emergence of new growth sectors, Kale noted, although these came off a very low base. They include the electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply sectors, which grew at a rate of 44% in 2013; as well as Nigeria's sound recording and music production industry that incorporates Nollywood, which grew over 33% in 2013.

The rebasing exercise also saw a drop in the West African state's debt ratio, with its debt to GDP ratio falling from 19% to 11%. Under the new data series, the country's GDP per capita rose to from $1 555, in 2012 to $2 689.

Nigeria, a country of an estimated 170 million people, is an OPEC member and Africa's biggest oil producer. The government is targeting 7.16 trillion Naira ($43.8 billion) in income from oil and gas this year. To read the complete report from Bloomberg, follow this link to Nigerian Economy Overtakes South Africas on Re-Based GDP.
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