Recently, the World Bank published its January 2021 global economic prospects. The bank expects global growth to expand by 4% in 2021 from an estimated 4.3% contraction in 2020.
In the report, the World Bank expressed concerns about the recovery phase of many economies, especially the emerging and developing economies except policymakers can put in place robust and comprehensive policy framework to improve the existing frail business and economic environment caused by the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
The bank’s growth projection for advanced economies (AEs) and emerging & developing economies (EMDEs) including China was 3.3% and 5.0% in 2021 respectively. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expected to grow by 2.7%, while the expected growth for Nigeria is set at 1.1% in 2021.
The World Bank appears less optimistic about the growth prospects across the globe including Nigeria as many countries are enfeebled as a result of the ripple effect of the pandemic causing elevated debt levels, rising unemployment and with the new strain of Covid-19 in many countries resulting in renewed lockdowns and restrictions, growth estimates may not be met. The bank stresses that quicker vaccination process across the world would aid faster economic growth which could step up to 5%, while a possible delay in rollout of vaccines amid rising infections could hamper growth expansion to 1.6% in 2021.
The prospect of quick vaccination appears a little bleak to us at this time. To give perspective, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) a few days ago, only 6.7 million Americans had received at least the first dose of the vaccine and that is roughly 2% of America’s population in 2 months.
The bank extended its weakened optimism to Nigeria as the country faces severe pressures from dwindling oil revenues, weak private investments, eroding consumer spending power and declining foreign investor participation.
In our opinion, restoring the economy to the path of sustainable growth requires government’s conscious efforts in addressing structural challenges impeding growth in the economy.
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