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Nigeria’s economy grows by 1.81 percent in Q3, pushed higher by the non-oil sector

PUBLISHED: Tue, 11 Dec 2018 10:13:08 GMT

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ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s economy grew 1.81 percent in the third quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, pushed higher by the non-oil sector, the statistics office said on Monday.

The figures are a slight improvement from the previous quarter, when a slowdown in growth sparked fears that Africa’s biggest oil producer might enter recession for the second time in three years.

But a sluggish recovery since 2017 could bode poorly for President Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking a second term in February 2019 elections and for whom economic rejuvenation has been a key pillar of policy.

The non-oil sector grew 2.32 percent in the third quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, adding that information and communication services were the main driver of the expansion.

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Oil production rose slightly to 1.94 million barrels per day (mbpd) in the period, from 1.84 mbpd in the previous quarter, yet the sector’s growth contracted 2.91 percent from the previous year when production was at 2.02 mbpd, the statistics office said.

Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky