Weekly Economic Index: Increase in oil price, real GDP growth, but Naira depreciates slightly.

According to experts, the next oil boom will be powered by Blockchain technology. This news comes after BP Plc, Eni, and Energie announced a pilot program to trade on a platform that runs on Blockchain. It is hoped that the technology will help in cutting costs in supply-line management and logistics.

Blockchain technology is the digital software behind the cryptocurrency revolution around the world. Oil-dependent economies around the world, including Nigeria, would need to innovate, to meet with the rising demands of the oil industry. Countries that have grown averse to blockchain technology will have to review their stance on it. Is Nigeria ready for this new change?

Below is the Ventures Africa Weekly Economic Index, for the week ending 23rd of February 2018. This economic index gives you a glimpse into other recent activities in Nigeria’s economy as well as changes that could affect the economy:

How did the Nigerian Stock Market perform?

According to recent data released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), as of 23rd of February 2018, the all share index decreased by 0.16 percent from the previous week ending 16th February 2018. Market capitalization at the close of trading during the week under review was N15.277 trillion which is a 0.16 percent decrease from N15.302 trillion recorded the previous week. The All Share Index for the week under review closed at 42,570.89

Top five price Gainers and Decliners in the week under review:

Top five price gainers

Livestock Feeds Plc.

Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc.

CAP Plc.

AIICO Insurance Plc.

United Bank for Africa Plc.

Top five price decliners

Conoil Plc.

Courteville Business Solutions.

UNIIC Diversified Holdings Plc.

Unity Bank Plc.

DN Tyre & Rubber Plc.

How Nigeria’s Forex reserves are faring

Nigeria’s sale of its Eurobonds increased its Forex reserves to a 54 month high of $45 billion. The Eurobond attracted ‘a buying interest of $11.5 billion’, and comprises ‘a $1.25 billion 12-year series and a $1.25 billion 20-year series’, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The sales closed on Friday, 23rd February, and there have been speculations from experts for what it would be used for. “The proceeds from the Eurobond issuance would be used to refinance relatively expensive short-term domestic borrowings as the FGN plans to achieve an optimal mix of domestic and foreign debt and reduce overall debt servicing cost,” Analysts told Vanguard Nigeria.

How did the Naira fare?

During the week under review, the Naira depreciated against the dollar in the parallel market. It was sold at N360/$ on Friday ending 23rd of February 2018, increasing from an average of N359/$ recorded on the 16th of February 2018.

How did the price of oil fare?

Global oil price continued to rise last week. It rose from $64.5 per barrel on the 16th of February to $67.31 last week, continuing the surge in prices.

Nigerian GDP growth

According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew in Q4 2017 by 1.92 percent (year-on-year) in real terms, maintaining its positive growth since the emergence of the economy from recession in Q2 2017. This growth is compared to a contraction of –1.73 percent recorded in Q4 2016 and a growth of 1.40 percent recorded in Q 2017.

Quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was 4.29 percent. The year 2017 recorded a real annual growth rate of 0.83 percent higher by 2.42 percent, than –1.58% recorded in 2016.

This figure tallies with projections made at the beginning of 2017, that Nigeria’s annual growth rate would be 0.8 percent. The annual growth rate in 2018 is projected to be 1.9 percent but will be subdued by population growth.


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