A few weeks ago, Nigeria released its 2016 First Quarter Balance of Trade report revealing Nigeria had a negative trade balance (trade deficit) of N184.1 billion. This will be the first time the country will be recording a negative trade balance since data collection began in 2008. It was another piece of bad news for the Buhari led Government and another indication of how bad things are.
It’s quite easy to look at Nigeria’s macro-economic numbers are feel like the world is indeed coming to an end. However, looking at macro-economic numbers from other countries could help you put things into proper perspective as Nigeria is not the only economy currently in shambles.
South Africa just released its 2016 first quarter trade data and it shows that the country’s trade deficit of 38 billion rand or about $2.5 billion. That equates to about 5% of South Africa’s GDP. Nigeria in contrast had a trade deficit of about N184billion (using N250/$1) or $736 million. This also equates to about 0.2% of our GDP.
One can argue that about the numbers coming out of Nigeria as not all imports and indeed exports are captured, however these are official numbers and we can only but rely on them. South Africa like Nigeria faces a problem of a drop in commodity prices as the country earns much of its revenues from taxes on mining companies. The country also has a leadership issue with many questioning the ability of Jacob Zuma to steer the country out of the current economic crisis.
Just like Nigeria, South Africa currently faces an imminent recession after posting a 2016 first quarter GDP of -1.2%. Here are some of South Africa’s numbers;
Their central bank has raised lending rates by 2% to 7% since the beginning of 2014 in a bid to keep inflation within its target band of 3 to 6 percent.
Headline inflation slowed to 6.2% in April from a peak of 7% in February.