By Mustapha Sumaila
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.87 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.
The NBS disclosed this in its GDP Quarterly Report released on Monday.
It explained that this performance was recorded against the backdrop of significant global disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 public health crisis.
It said there was a sharp fall in oil prices and restricted international trade adding that the performance recorded in Q1 represented a drop of –0.23 per cent points compared to Q1 2019 and –0.68 per cent points compared to Q4 2019, reflecting the earliest effects of the disruption, particularly on the non-oil economy.
According to the bureau, quarter on quarter, real GDP growth was –14.27 per cent, compared to 5.59 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter.
The NBS, however, stated that during the first quarter of 2020, an average daily oil production of 2.07 million barrels per day (MBPD) was recorded.
It added that the production level was higher than the 1.99million MBPD recorded in the same quarter of 2019 by 0.08 MBPD and the fourth quarter of 2019 by 0.06 MBPD.
“The oil sector recorded a real growth rate of 5.06 per cent year on year in Q1 2020, indicating an increase of 6.51 per cent points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
“However, growth decreased by -1.30 per cent points when compared to Q4 2019 which was 6.36 per cent.
“The non-oil sector grew by 1.55 per cent in real terms during the reference quarter Q2020. This was slower than -0.93 per cent points compared to the rate recorded during the same quarter of 2020 and -0.72 per cent points slower than the fourth quarter of 2019,” the NBS explained.
The bureau stated that the four sub-activities which make up the agriculture sector like crop production, livestock, forestry and fishing sectors grew by 22.47 per cent year on year in nominal terms in Q1, 2020.
It noted that this showed a decline of -0.11 per cent points from the same quarter in 2019.