After recording its fastest quarterly growth since the 2016 recession, the coronavirus outbreak could see Nigeria’s economy slow or contract in the first quarter of 2020, as manufacturers have become less optimistic amid supply shortage and slowing demand.
Nigeria’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a gauge for manufacturing sentiments, slowed in March 2020 to its lowest in almost three years, according to data by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In March, PMI stood at 51.1 index points when compared to 58.3 points in February. Although a 51.1 index point indicates an expansion in the manufacturing sector for the 36th consecutive month, it also depicts a disruption in economic activities brought about by the outbreak of covid-19.
Also, non-manufacturing PMI fell to 49.2 points in March from 58.6 points in February, the lowest since March 2017.
The index is based upon manufacturers’ responses to set questions on core variables in their businesses. A PMI above 50 points indicates that the manufacturing/non-manufacturing economy is generally expanding, 50 points indicates no change, and below 50 points indicates that it is generally contracting.