Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as the biggest economy in Africa as the latter enters its second recession in two years.
South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product shrank by 1.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019, following a revised 0.8 per cent contraction in the third quarter, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Tuesday.
Nigeria’s GDP grew by 2.55 per cent in Q4 2019, its highest quarterly growth since the recession of 2016. The country’s economic growth rose by 2.27 per cent in 2019, compared to a growth rate of 1.91 per cent in 2018.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the answer to the question of whether South Africa or Nigeria was the biggest economy on the continent had long depended on which exchange rate you use for the West African nation.
But now both the official naira rate of 306 per dollar and the weaker market exchange rate of around 360 that almost all investors use put Nigeria tops, according to the report.