In spite of the shaking and conflicting start in the New Year, caused by the fuel subsidy removal and the nationwide strike that followed, a new poll shows that Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow around 7 percent this year! The non-oil sector, especially the telecoms, construction and retail, is expected to be a major boost to the economy.
According to the news published by Reuters, the forecasts, based on a poll of 11 analysts, presents a positive outlook for Africa’s most populous nation of about 166 million.
Despite the political instability, analysts said the allure of such a huge consumer market will continue to attract investment. “We expect to see strong growth in Nigeria, bolstered by robust expansion in the non-oil sectors, particularly retail, telecoms and construction,” said Gregan Anderson of London-based risk consultancy Business Monitor International. The poll suggested inflation would average 10.7 percent in 2012 before easing to 10.4 percent next year.
The main factors driving prices would be food and fuel, as well as the weak naira currency. Consumer inflation edged down slightly in December to 10.3 percent, although food inflation quickened to 11 percent from 9.6 percent the previous month. The central bank raised rates last year by 600 basis points to 12 percent to support a struggling naira and keep inflation in single digits. The naira is expected to be ease slightly to 162.2 against the dollar by the end of the first quarter, firm to 161.8 three months later, and end finally firming to its current level of 160 at the end of the year.