2014: IMF Forecasts 7.3% Economic Growth For Nigeria

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The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has predicted a 7.3% economic growth for Nigeria in 2014, up from 6.4% in 2013. It also said inflation in Nigeria will continue to witness a downward trend.

IMF is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade and promote sustainable economic growth. The consortium also aims to increase employment and reduce poverty.

It said the accelerated economic growth, which reflects a more optimistic outlook than the 6.75% growth projected by Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, would be driven by sectors outside its dominant energy industry.

The forecast puts inflation ending the year at 7%, down from 7.9% at the end of 2013, continuing a two-year downward trend supported by tight monetary policy.

The IMF report acknowledged the fact that unemployment and poverty are high in Nigeria despite significant job creation  and identified continued weaknesses in labour markets, access to electricity, cost of doing business, and SMEs access to finance as factors that have militated against a more robust and inclusive growth path.” 

The report predicates the increase in economic growth to a boost in agriculture, trade, and services with a decline in inflation resulting to a lower food prices from higher rice and wheat production. This it says will be further supported by “a tight monetary policy and a budget execution that maintains medium-term consolidation objectives.”

The IMF said there were risks to its projections, including the uncertain pace of the global recovery, lower oil prices and production, slow implementation of reforms and the continuation of a bloody Islamist insurgency in the north.

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