IMF projects 4.3% contraction for Nigerian economy

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Tuesday, projected that Nigeria’s economy will contract by 4.3 per cent in 2020.

The contraction, contained in its October World Economic Outlook report is a 1.1 per cent improvement from the 5.4 per cent that was projected in June and deeper than the 3.4 per cent projected in April.

IMF chief economist and Director of the research department, Gita Gopinath, said oil-exporting countries are battling the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of low oil prices.

She said: “They have been hit by the health crisis and were hit because they are oil exporters which had a collapse and more importantly, they just don’t have the resources that advanced economies have to deal with this crisis,” 

Gopinath further noted that: “Because we don’t have a financial crisis at this point, many emerging markets are able to borrow at record levels in foreign currency this year relative to previous years.”

The IMF chief economist said the foreign debts been acquired by emerging market economies will not be enough and advised that there is a need for continued international support.

This support, Gopinath explained, could be in terms of concessionary financing, aid and debt relief and restructuring.

“There are going to be developing and low-income economies that would need debt relief and, in some cases, restructuring of debt to make sure they have the space to do the spending that they need,” she said.

This contraction will be the worst recession in 30 years, and the second recession in five years, following closely after a negative economic growth of 1.51 per cent in 2016.

In 1987, Nigeria’s economy receded by -10.87 and -0.6 in 1991.

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