Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/09/2014 -- We are forecasting that the Nigerian economy will expand by 7.0% in 2014, up from an estimated 6.7% in 2013 thanks to continued strong expansion in non-oil sectors. This positive environment is set to feed into the country's shipping industry, which is set to enjoy a healthy 12 months. The positive impact of agriculture mean that this important sector should contribute strongly to private consumption growth. The risks to our view are to the downside and stem from the political risk and policy uncertainty.
The Nigerian economy expanded by 6.8% in real terms in the third quarter of 2013 (Q313) - the latest period for which data are available - and full year growth looks set to come in at around our 6.7% forecast. We have made a slight downgrade to our 2014 growth forecast owing to building political and policy uncertainty as the 2015 election approaches. However, the downgrade is only slight - we now see expansion coming in at 7.0% compared to 7.2% previously with our forecast remaining above the government's estimate of 6.8% included in the 2014 budget.
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Leading the way in terms of year-on-year (y-o-y) growth at Nigerian ports will be Port Harcourt, which is the only one of the country's ports set to register double-digit gains during 2014. Following closely behind will be the Port of Tincan Island (9.74%), while Nigeria's largest port at Lagos is pencilled in to see healthy annual growth of 7.70%.
Headline Industry Data
- 2014 Port of Lagos tonnage throughput is forecast to increase by 7.70%.
- 2014 Port Harcourt tonnage throughput is forecast to increase by 10.47%.
- 2014 Port of Tincan Island throughput is forecast to increase by 9.74%.
- 2014 trade growth forecast at 7.75%.
Key Industry Trends
Nigerian Port Sector Looking Buoyant - The Nigerian port infrastructure sector look set to enjoy considerable growth over the midterm, with the country's minister for transport highlighting seven potential deep water seaports that are in the pipeline. Some plans are already well developed, but others add upside to our buoyant port sector forecasts. We forecast 9.9% real growth in the sector over 2014 and will now look to upgrade the average growth rate of the sector over our forecast period up to 2023, which currently stands at 6.7%.
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