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IMF may revise its Nigeria growth forecast higher

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It appears the Nigerian economy has become the cynosure of all global economic eyes, as the International Monetary Fund may revise upwards its growth forecast for the country.

Jesmin Rahman, the IMF mission chief to Nigeria, cited the country’s surprise exit from recession in the fourth quarter as a reason why its future projections of Nigeria’s economic outlook may be more positive for the coming year.

She said, “It wasn’t as bad as we expected.”

Jesmin Rahman, IMF Mission Chief

Rahman, who spoke at a virtual event hosted by the American Business Council, did not put a figure on the 2021 growth overall, but said the medium-term growth rate could return to 2.5%. The IMF previously projected 1.5% growth for 2021.

“We will see recovery and we will see real output going back to the pre-pandemic level‚Ķsometime next year,” she said.

But Rahman warned that economic growth, increase in living standards and enough job creation to match the rising population was being hampered by the failure thus far to make certain structural changes, such as exchange rate reforms.

Nigeria’s unemployment hit 33.3% in the fourth quarter, and food inflation reached a four-year peak above 20% in February. read more

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