Nigerian economic confidence at 12-month low: amid global pessimism ending a turbulent 2018

Nigeria faces its lowest economic confidence scores in a year, after a fall in the final quarter of 2018, finds the latest edition of Global Economic Conditions (GECS) from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (Institute of Management Accountants).

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 of the findings in Nigeria, Thomas Isibor, head of ACCA Nigeria says: ‘The report finds that despite an improvement in the non-oil economy, consumer demand is soft, restrained by a 23% unemployment rate. Overall GDP growth in 2019 is likely to be very modest at between 2% to 2.5%. Presidential elections in February increase uncertainty in the near term but the outcome may result in more business friendly policies.’

Narayanan Vaidyanathan, head of business insights at ACCA said of the global results: ‘Economic confidence over 2018 has been turbulent, with end of calendar year results downbeat compared to the start of 2018. It’s 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.’

The global poll of 3,800 accountants shows 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.

The survey reveals 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.

GECS Q4 shows:
The biggest concern for respondents was again rising costs, with 55% citing this as an issue.
47% of respondents globally are considering laying off staff, with just 18% considering taking on new workers.
39% of respondents are considering scaling back investment in new capital projects, compared with just 16% who are looking to increase investment in new projects
the possibility of suppliers going out of business being a concern for just 12% of respondents – unchanged from Q3.

GECS Q4 2018 can be found online:

Fieldwork for the Q4 survey took place between 23 November and 7 December 2018 and attracted 3773 responses from ACCA and IMA members around the world, including 302 CFOs.