GDP: Transport and Storage – The Best Performer In Q4 2017

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From the national accounts for Q4 2017, we highlight the five best performing sectors. We cover only those sectors accounting for at least 1% of GDP at constant basic prices, and exclude other services.

We are measuring performance in q/q terms and comparing it with the year-earlier period (Q4 2016, in this case). The data from the NBS are not seasonally adjusted and the fourth quarter is often the strongest of the year due to the boost to household demand in the holiday season. We are also looking at the data for any response to government policy.

  • The best performer was transportation and storage, which managed far higher growth than in Q4 2016. We could well be seeing the impact of the FGN’s infrastructure spend since road transport is the dominant segment of the sector. We should caution that the sector accounts for just 1.2% of constant price GDP, which is very low even in an emerging market context.
  • Education and construction also feature in our chart. Both have government and private-sector components. Education’s q/q growth was very similar to the earlier period although the pick-up for construction from 14.6% to 19.9% could reflect the FGN’s plans for the infrastructure.
  • We would expect robust q/q growth in information and communications in the holiday quarter, and so it has proved. When we recall that Nigeria was still in recession in Q4 2016, the acceleration of close to four percentage point between the two quarters suggests a small improvement in household demand. As a footnote, we see that within the sector broadcasting achieved higher q/q growth in Q4 2017 (34.6%) than the larger telecommunications and information services (21.9%).

Sources: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS); FBNQuest Capital Research

  • The one sector which does not enjoy a q/q boost in the fourth quarter is agriculture, which contracted by -6.4% due to the harvesting cycle.

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