Thursday, September 29, 2011

Survey: Nigeria's Middle Class Growing

This Day
28 September 2011

•Predicts $2,000 per capita GDP by 2016

A new detailed survey and report on Nigeria’s expanding middle class, issued by the leading emerging markets investment bank, Renaissance Capital, has portrayed Nigeria as a nation that is optimistic about economic growth, values entrepreneurship and is positioned to capitalise on a boom in consumption.

The survey, released in Lagos, also noted that Nigeria’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) at market exchange rates has already increased from $390 in 2001 to $1,541 in 2011 based on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures, and would reach nearly $2,000 by 2016 “if the pessimistic IMF forecasts are accurate, or $2,500 in our more benign scenario”.

The survey and accompanying report, authored by Renaissance Capital’s Global Chief Economist, Charles Robertson; Head of Sub-Saharan Research, Nothando Ndebele; and Sub-Saharan Economist, Yvonne Mhango, drew attention to the wealth of opportunities presented by one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, as an expanding middle class fuels GDP growth in Africa’s most populous country.

The report drew out the investment opportunities and implications presented by Nigeria’s rapidly growing middle class, against a highly favourable macroeconomic backdrop.

It noted that GDP rose five fold from $46 billion in 2000 to $247 billion in 2011, according to IMF estimates, while the population increased by more than one-third over the same period, from 119 million to 160 million.

Nigeria’s middle class accounts for about 23 per cent of its population, according to African Development Bank data.

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