Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) recorded a growth rate of –3.62% (year-on-year) in real terms in the third quarter of 2020.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) made the disclosure in its GDP Report for Q3 2020 released on Saturday.
The bureau said cumulatively, the economy has contracted by –2.48%.
“While this represents an improvement of 2.48% points over the –6.10% growth rate recorded in the preceding quarter (Q2 2020), it also indicates that two consecutive quarters of negative growth have been recorded in 2020,” the NBS report said.
“Furthermore, growth in Q3 2020 was slower by 5.90% points when compared to the third quarter of 2019 which recorded a real growth rate of 2.28% year on year.”
The NBS noted that the performance of the economy in Q3 2020 reflected residual effects of the restrictions to movement and economic activity implemented across the country in early Q2 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As these restrictions were lifted, businesses re-opened and international travel and trading activities resumed, some economic activities have returned to positive growth,” it said.
“A total of 18 economic activities recorded positive growth in Q3 2020, compared to 13 activities in Q2 2020.
“During the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N39,089,460.61 million in nominal terms. This performance was 3.39% higher when compared to the third quarter of 2019 which recorded an aggregate of N37,806,924.41 million.
“This rate was, however, lower relative to growth recorded in the third quarter of 2019 by –9.91% points but higher than the proceeding quarter by 6.19% points.”
For clarity, the Nigerian economy was broadly classified into the oil and non-oil sectors.
Real growth for the oil sector was –13.89% (year-on-year) in Q3 2020, indicating a sharp contraction of –20.38% points relative to the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
“Furthermore, real oil growth decreased by –7.26% points when compared with oil sector growth recorded in Q2 2020 (6.63%),” the bureau disclosed.
“Quarter on quarter however, the oil sector recorded a growth rate of 9.64% in Q3 2020.
“The sector contributed 8.73% to total real GDP in Q3 2020, down from 9.77% and 8.93% respectively recorded in the corresponding period of 2019 and the preceding quarter, Q2 2020.”
The NBS said the non-oil sector grew by –2.51% in real terms during the reference quarter, which is –4.36% points lower than the rate recorded in Q3 2019 but 3.54% points higher than in the second quarter of 2020.
It further stated that the non-sector was driven mainly by Information and Communication (Telecommunications), with other drivers being Agriculture (Crop Production), Construction, Financial and Insurance (Financial Institutions), and Public Administration.
“In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 91.27% to the nation’s GDP in the third quarter of 2020, higher than its share in the third quarter of 2019 (90.23%) and the second quarter of 2020 (91.07%),” the NBS added.
The contraction means Nigeria’s economy has slipped into recession for the first time since 2016 following a negative economic growth for the second consecutive quarter.
Economists consider two consecutive quarters of contracting GDP as the technical definition of a recession.