Nigeria's economy grows by 6.56% in first quarter

By The Rainbow

Indications that Nigeria's Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the key indicator of economic growth, has nudged up to  6.56 per cent in the first quarter of this year from 6.34 per cent it attained in the corresponding quarter of 2012,  according to the 2012 estimate for Q1, 2013 GDP for the country published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in Abuja on Thursday.

Also,  the nominal GDP for the quarter was N37 billion better than the figure in the corresponding period of 2012. It came in at N9.49 trillion, as against the N9.14 trillion in the corresponding quarter of 2012.

However, the GDP  figure was shy of  the growth rate of 6.99 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to the report, the non-oil sector growth was driven by growth in activities in building and construction, hotels and restaurants, real estate services, manufacturing, finance and insurance and solid minerals, amongst other sectors of the economy.

For the oil sector,  the report indicated that output decreased in the first quarter of 2013 relative to the corresponding quarter of last year.

The agency specifically reported that the oil sector recorded an average daily production of 2.29 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2013 as against 2.35 million barrels per day in the corresponding quarter in 2012, adding that the figures with their associated gas components, resulted in a growth rate, in real terms of -0.54 per cent in oil GDP in the quarter under review compared with the -2.32 per cent for the corresponding period in 2012.

While noting that the sector witnessed series of operational disruptions in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry, NBS pointed out that sector still accounted for about 14.75 per cent of real GDP in the first quarter 2013, compared to 15.80 per cent contribution in the first quarter of 2012 and 12.59 per cent in Q4, 2012.

On the non-oil sector performance, the Bureau reported that the sector continued 'to be a major driver of the economy in the first quarter of 2013 when compared with the corresponding quarter in 2012.'

Amplifying further, it stated: