Nigerian economic confidence at 12-month low — Report

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Institute of Management Accountants have said in their report on Global Economic Conditions that Nigeria faces its lowest economic confidence scores in a year, after a fall in the final quarter of 2018.

The accountants in a statement on Wednesday said, “In the midst of a poor near-term outlook, a fall in oil prices is expected to weigh on exports and government revenues. These were highlighted in the poll of 82 Nigerian accountants.”

Speaking on the findings in Nigeria, the head, ACCA Nigeria, Thomas Isibor, stated, “The report finds that despite an improvement in the non-oil economy, consumer demand is soft, restrained by a 23 per cent unemployment rate. Overall GDP growth in 2019 is likely to be very modest at between two per cent to 2.5 per cent. Presidential elections in February increase uncertainty in the near term but the outcome may result in more business- friendly policies.”

The Head of Business Insights at ACCA, Narayanan Vaidyanathan, while speaking on the global results, noted, “Economic confidence over 2018 has been turbulent, with end of calendar year results downbeat compared to the start of 2018.

“It has been interesting to look back at the GECS from the start of 2018, when we recorded economic confidence at its highest since the first survey was issued assessing Q1 2009. Last year was clearly a roller-coaster ride and the outlook for 2019 is also uncertain.”

According to the statement, the global poll of 3,800 accountants showed that all key regions recorded a negative confidence score with signs of growth weakening in the world’s three biggest economies – the US, China and the Eurozone.

Global economic confidence fell for the third consecutive quarter in Q4 2018, ending the year at an all-time low.

It stated, “The survey revealed respondents to be pessimistic about the outlook ahead, with the lowest scores recorded in Western Europe and the Caribbean. The least pessimistic part of the global economy was again South Asia, followed by Africa and North America.”

The GECS Q4 showed that the biggest concern for respondents was again rising costs, with 55 per cent citing it as an issue.

Forty-seven per cent of respondents globally were considering laying off workers, with just 18 per cent considering taking on new workers.

Thirty-nine per cent of respondents were considering scaling back investment in new capital projects, compared with just 16 per cent who were looking to increase investment in new projects.
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