Nigeria economy contracts, slides into recession

PUBLISHED: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:21:56 GMT

Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 2.06 percent in the second quarter, the statistics office said on Wednesday, sending Africa’s biggest economy into a recession after a decline in the first quarter.

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the non-oil sector declined due to a weaker currency while lower oil prices dragged the oil sector down. Output shrank by 0.36 in the first quarter.

Nigeria is in the midst of an economic crisis triggered by a slump in crude prices, its mainstay, which has hammered public finances and the naira and caused chronic dollar shortages. Crude sales accounts for around 70 percent of government revenues.

The West African nation was last in a recession, for less than a year, in 1991, and experienced a prolonged one that started in 1982 and last until 1984, NBS data showed.

On Wednesday, the statistics office also said annual inflation rose to 17.1 percent in July from 16.5 percent in June, and food inflation rose to 15.8 percent from 15.3.

(Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha and Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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