Despite Nigeria facing its worst economic recession in 29 years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected the country as the biggest economy in Africa — ahead of South Africa and Egypt.
In August 2016, Nigeria was reported to have lost its spot as Africa’s biggest economy to South Africa, following the recalculation of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“A recalculation using current exchange rates put South Africa on top because the rand has strengthened against the dollar,” BBC wrote in August.
“Based on gross domestic product at the end of 2015 published by the International Monetary Fund, the size of South Africa’s economy is $301 billion at the rand’s current exchange rate, while Nigeria’s GDP is $296 billion,” Bloomberg said.
Latest estimates from the IMF however put Nigeria’s GDP at $415.080 billion for 2016, from $493.831 billion at the end of 2015.
While the 2015 figure is actual, the one for 2016 is a projection.
The IMF World Economic Outlook for October 2016 projects South Africa’s GDP at $280.367 billion, down from the actual of $314.732 billion a year earlier.
Egypt’s 2016 data was reported as not available, but its 2015 size remained at $330.159 while that of Algeria, one of the largest economies on the continent, was put at $168.318 billion.
The United States, China and Japan maintained their spots as the largest economies in the world, with projected GDPs of $18.561 trillion, $11.391 trillion and $4.73 trillion respectively for 2016.
These countries are being trailed by Germany, United Kingdom and France in that order.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, said at the just concluded World Bank/IMF meetings that global growth had been too slow for too long.
“We continue to face the problem of global growth being too low for too long, benefiting too few,” she said after the world economic outlook was published.
The world expects an economic growth of 3.1 percent in 2016, reviewed from 3.4 percent.