Despite recession, IMF affirms Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy – by far
Despite facing its worst economic recession in 29 years, Nigeria has been affirmed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the biggest economy in Africa — ahead of South Africa and Egypt.
In August 2016, Nigeria was reported to have lost its spot as Africa’s biggest economy to South Africa, following the recalculation of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“A recalculation using current exchange rates put South Africa on top because the rand has strengthened against the dollar,” BBC said in August.
“Based on gross domestic product at the end of 2015 published by the International Monetary Fund, the size of South Africa’s economy is $301 billion at the rand’s current exchange rate, while Nigeria’s GDP is $296 billion,” Bloomberg said.
Latest estimates from the IMF however put Nigeria’s GDP at $415.080 billion, from $493.831 billion at the end of 2015.
The IMF World Economic Outlook for October 2016 puts South Africa’s GDP at $280.367 billion, from $314.732 billion a year earlier.
Egypt’s 2016 data was reported as not available, but its 2015 size remained at $330.159 while that of Algeria, one of the largest economies on the continent, was put at $168.318 billion.
The United States, China and Japan maintained their spots as the largest economies in the world, with a GDP of $18.561 trillion, $11.391 trillion and $4.73 trillion respectively.
These countries are being trailed by Germany, United Kingdom and France in that order.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, said at the just concluded World Bank/IMF meetings that global growth had been too slow for too long.
“We continue to face the problem of global growth being too low for too long, benefiting too few,” she said after the world economic outlook was published.
The world expects an economic growth of 3.1 percent in 2016, reviewed from 3.4 percent.