Nigeria may be out of recession by the first quarter of 2021, as projected by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, but analysts in KPMG Nigeria have stated that there are 10 macro trends that will determine the fate of the nation’s economy next year.
The macros are Global dynamics, fiscal sustainability, uncertain forex environment, stringent policy posture, constrained productivity and accelerated credit penetration.
Others are cautious private sector investment activities, emerging digital economy, socio-political threats, and consumer pressure points.
This was disclosed by Olusegun Zacchaeus, Associate Director, Strategy and Economics, KPMG, during the American Business Council webinar recently.
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Zacchaeus explained that the modest recovery expected in 2021 is threatened by the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, everyone should expect more pressure that will emanate from the global economy. For instance, the change of baton of the Democratic government in the United States is expected to impact several economies, including Nigeria. He said,
“The emergence of a new democrat president will have implications on the global economy. The bigger fiscal stimulus package totaling US$2.5 trillion from 2021 to 2024 is expected to drive recovery.
“On oil price dynamics, bilateralism with possible easing of trade tensions between the US and China. Possible catalyst for distortion in oil prices given strong advocacy for shift away from fossil fuel.”
KPMG added that OPEC is considering deepening oil production cuts amidst rising Covid-19 cases, and fresh economic lockdown in Europe Outflows from SSA between February and March totaled $5 billion.
According to the firm, 47% of investors think emerging market economic activity will slow over the next 12 months, compared with 37% who think it will accelerate and borrowing costs are still high and financial conditions remain difficult.
“WTO expects a significant downturn in global trade in 2020 between 13% and 32%, and some recovery in 2021 at 8%. Risks to the outlook include a second wave of COVID-19 with the results being very sensitive to the length of time that the Covid-19 threat remains in place or trade restrictions,” he added.
It stated that the proposed 2021 budget provides indications of tight spending and worsening debt. KPMG projected that the Budget implementation will likely underperform in line with historical trends.
According to the firm, Nigeria’s fiscal flexibility is constrained by a high interest bill as a percentage of general government revenue and by inefficient non-oil tax collection.
Noting that the impact of new tax policies could be watered down by overall low economic outputs, KPMG advised that the Integrated Revenue Monitoring System (IRMS) needed to ease revenue recognition.
Uncertain FX environment
It stated, “The foreign exchange environment will remain under pressure exacerbated by lower FX earnings.
“Fair value estimation at N422/$1, reflecting a 9% overvaluation of real effective exchange rate. Fair value may improve but rates will still be misaligned in 2021.
“Liquidity is low due to the pressure on foreign reserves and sharp fall in capital importation by -78% in Q2 2020 (QoQ). Liquidity will remain challenged given oil price outlook and capital flows,” it added.
On the multiplicity of rates, KPMG stated that multiple exchange subsist, considering the spread of N80 between BDC, government intervention rate, and official rate. CBN may not likely close the multiple exchange rate window.
KPMG stated that Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) policy environment has negative impact on the overall growth in the economy.
Following this, social wheel pressure is spinning and this has resulted in a growing flux of skilled talent to other climes like Canada, U.K, Australia, and the United States.
“The nature, speed, volume, and magnitude of change is not predictable e.g. rising Inflation and low aggregate demand. Lack of clarity resulting in multiple and conflicting interpretations.
“Lack of predictability in issues and events make it difficult to see future outcomes or make decisions. Focus will be more on social vs economic growth,” it added.
Accelerating credit penetration
The tax firm stated that Nigeria has been credit starved despite increased supply to the private sector. On what is expected in 2021, it added that deepened credit penetration is expected to continue in 2021. Albeit, there may be increased concentration
While concluding on this, it noted that LDR stipulated at 60%, now increased to 65% and that the OMO restrictions increasing overall liquidity in the banking sector.
“Increase in CRR from 22.5% to 27.5% to tame excess liquidity and inflation. The Reduction in MPR by 100bps from 12:5% to 11.5%. Development Finance Initiative as a policy tool will enhance credit penetration,” it recalled.
Cautious private sector investment activities
According to KPMG, the Private sector confidence remains low as FDI is expected to dim in 2021. The firm noted that the largest component of capital importation, contributing 58.8% of total capital importation.
It attributed this to the government aggressive policies toward enhancing other strategic investments e.g. technology development in the economy.
It also attributed the Portfolio investment, which declined by 91% (YoY) at $385.32million in Q2 2020 from $4,292.893million in Q2 2019, to the impact of Covid-19 on global activities, which dampened investors’ sentiments.
Emerging digital economy
The emerging digital economy is expected to witness growth in 2021, as Nigeria boasts of an industry driven by increased investment resulting in capital to drive growth.
On the influx of start ups in the segment, KPMG stated that the total funding in Nigerian startups in 2018 up to $178 Million. Entry of new players, 15 startups raised more than $1million in the fintech segment.
“Tech start-ups have begun to attract funding from venture capital firms, however, foreign investors provide over 80% of this funding,” it added.
The social wheel of pressure is spinning, as an additional 5million Nigerians are expected to be pushed into poverty in 2021 due to crisis. This will be driven largely by contraction of remittances and growth in population (2.6% annually) above the GDP growth rate.
Consumer pressure points
Even in 2021, the tax firm is optimistic that there are several macro forces pitched against the consumer. One of them is employment, which remains a major challenge in Nigeria, as inflationary pressures on the rise are expected to be sustained in 2021, driven by rising costs.
Despite the challenging environment, consumers’ confidence is expected to be positive, as consumer spending will remain under pressure.
In conclusion, unemployment and erosion of purchasing power, due to inflation, will form additional pressure points.
What you should know
Speaking at the same forum in 2019, as reported by Nairametrics, Zaccheaus explained that the the global developments in 2020 portends significant risks for the Sub-Saharan countries. Other factors are investment for growth, productivity, technology and digital disruption, socio-economic pressure and consumer pressure points.
While providing an update on the Nigerian economy, it was stated that it currently stands on a slippery slope of recovery. According to KPMG, the Nigerian economy which recorded a growth rate of 6.21% in the first quarter of 2014, has continued to witness very slippery growth recovery since the 2016 recession.