IMF affirms Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has affirmed Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa.

The recent change in status follows the recalculation of country’s’ Gross Domestic Product. The bank’s World Economic Outlook for October 2016, puts Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at N314.73 billion in 2015 as against South Africa’s $280.36 billion.

In a report titled World Economic Outlook October 2016: Subdued Demand, Symptoms and Remedies, the IMF put Nigeria’s GDP at $415.08 billion, from $493.83 billion at the end of 2015.

Although Egypt’s 2016 data was reported as unavailable, its 2015 size remained at 330.15 billion Dollars while that of Algeria, one of the largest economies on the continent, was put at 168.31 billion Dollars.

According to the report,”while growth in emerging Asia and especially India continues to be resilient, the largest economies in sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola) are experiencing sharp slowdowns or recessions as lower commodity prices interact with difficult domestic political and economic conditions. Brazil and Russia continue to face challenging macroeconomic conditions, but their outlook has strengthened somewhat relative to last April.”

While the Nigeria economy is projected to contract by 1.7% in 2016 and grow by 0.6% in 2017, the global growth is projected to slow to 3.1 percent in 2016 before recovering to 3.4 percent in 2017.

Activity weakened in sub-Saharan Africa, led by Nigeria, where production was disrupted by shortages of foreign exchange, militant activity in the Niger Delta, and electricity blackouts. Momentum in South Africa was flat, despite the improvements in the external environment—notably stabilisationin China. Elsewhere, resilience in Côte d’Ivoire,

Kenya, Senegal, and Tanzania partially offset generally softer activity across the region.

Earlier in August, South Africa was projected as the biggest economy on the continent, but the IMF’s new report puts paid to the controversy surrounding which economy has the major spot light on the continent.