Does November PMI foreshadow a Positive Q4-18 GDP?

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently released its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) report for Nov-18, which showed that private sector economic activity in Nigeria further accelerated during the review period. According to the survey report, Manufacturing PMI rose for the 20th consecutive month to settle at 57.9 points (previously: 56.8 points), amid growth in all the 14 subsectors that make up the index. Similarly, Non-manufacturing PMI improved for the 19th consecutive month to settle at 58.4 points (previously: 57.0 points) as 16 of all the 17 surveyed sub-sectors recorded growth during the period. Despite November being the month with the second lowest average Brent price ($65.9/bbl), PMI during the period was the highest reading recorded this year. We attribute this to seasonality effects; a pick-up in demand and output, considering forthcoming end-year festivities. Looking ahead, we expect the improvement in PMI to be sustained to December and factoring in the strong historical relationship between the PMI and GDP, we believe the reading foreshadows an improvement in Q4-18 GDP.
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