The latest personal consumption figures for Nigeria are larger than the current estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $272 billion (N42.9 trillion), meaning that GDP will be much larger when rebased figures come out later in the year.
This was revealed by Yemi Kale, the head of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), who was speaking’ at BusinessDay’s In – House – Briefing at BusinessDay headquarters, in Lagos at the weekend.
“The latest consumption expenditure figures we have are much bigger than GDP,” Kale said.
Household consumption expenditure (HCE),the largest component of GDP by expenditure;was equivalent to 61 percent of GDP in 2011, according to NBS data.
“The rebased GDP will show that the Services sector is also much bigger, while Agriculture as
a percentage of GDP will be much less than the current 40 percent,” Kale said.
The updated GDP data, which will now be released sometime in September, will probably boost the size of the Nigerian economy by 35 percent, according to Kale.
“It is ongoing, we were a little bit more ambitious than realistic, however we can meet the target date, subject to budget releases. We are not eager to just put out any number; we want to get it right the first time.”
The statistics office has postponed the release of the data at
least twice before, citing funding constraints.
About 60 – 70 percent of the work relating to the rebasing has been done, according to Kale.
The remaining areas to be computed include non- profit organisations, construction, hotels, and the mining industry, he said.
The NBS plans to expand the various sectors of the nation’s economy from which data is gathered to compute GDP to 60 from the current 30, Kale said.
The NBS is seeking to change the calculations of Nigeria’s GDP using a new base year of 2010.
Most governments overhaul
GDP calculations every few years, to reflect changes in output and consumption, such as telecoms, financial services and internet usage.
Nigeria has not done so since 1990 (about 22 years) suggesting that the previous GDP framework underestimated economic activity.
Kale also hinted that the economy is not as bad as is generally reported.
Nigeria’s economy is forecast to expand 6.5 percent this year, according to data from the 2013 national budget.
“The economic growth is real, however the quality of that growth is questionable and concentrated in a few sectors,” he said.