After an extended delay (12 months), the labour statistics report for the last four quarters was finally released. This was not before a mild political drama which did not in any way affect the integrity of the numbers. Unemployment jumped from 18.8% to 23.1%. This high unemployment occurred at the same time inflation was declining. This confirms the inverse relationship between the two variables (Phillips curve). It is worrisome for an administration that is seeking re-election in less than two months.
Nigeria’s trade surplus in Q3 fell sharply by 67.58% to $1.89bn, from $5.83bn in the previous quarter. The fall in the trade surplus was mainly due to a spike in imports relative to exports. Interestingly, Nigeria’s terms of trade improved. However the fall in the trade surplus was far in excess of the improvement in the terms of trade.
Meanwhile, life expectancy in Nigeria is the 4th lowest in the world at 54.1 years. Sierra Leone has the lowest life expectancy of 52.3. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is significantly below the global average of 72 years and Africa’s average of 61.2 years. A low life expectancy mirrors poor productivity.
This edition of the FDC Monthly Publication presents an in-depth assessment of these issues and their implications on businesses and investment decisions.
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