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JUST IN: Nigeria’s economic growth slows in Q1 as oil sector shrinks

Growth in Nigeria’s fragile economy slowed to 2.01% in the first quarter as the country’s dominant oil sector shrank, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

The annual pace dropped from the previous quarter’s 2.38%, when activity was likely to have been boosted by state spending in the run-up to February and March elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari won a second term.

Nigeria’s Central Bank has forecast growth of 3% for 2019.

The largely crude-dependent economy emerged from recession in 2017 and has been recovering in great part due to higher oil prices.

In the first quarter the non-oil sector grew 2.47% while the oil sector shrank 2.40%, according to the statistics office. Crude production rose slightly to 1.96 million barrels per day from 1.91 million in the previous quarter, reports Reuters.

Growth in the first quarter of 2018 was 1.89%.

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