Macroeconomic Performance

Table 1: Overview of some macroeconomic indicators
Niger recorded an average growth rate of 5.8 per cent over the last five years. Niger’s economy grew by 11.1 per cent in 2022, up from 1.4 per cent in 2021. This was on account of increased agriculture output and healthy growth in the services sector. Average inflation inched up to 4.2 per cent (from 3.8% in 2021), one of the lowest in the sub-region, due to the increase in food and energy prices. Fiscal balance deteriorated to -6.9 per cent of GDP, from -5.9 per cent of GDP in 2021, with the debt-to-GDP ratio declining marginally to 51.1 per cent of GDP, from 51.3 per cent of GDP in 2021. The current account balance worsened to -15.5 per cent in 2022, from -14.1 per cent, as the value of imports increased as a result of global inflation.

The Nigerien economy is projected to grow by 6.7 per cent in 2023 and 7.7 per cent in 2024. This growth will be supported by expected increased crude oil output from the Agadem oilfield, further buoyed by pipeline exports to Benin from late 2023 to early 2024. Average inflation is projected to ease to 1.9 per cent in 2023 and further to 1.4 per cent in 2024. The decline in inflation and expected oil-based revenue increases will facilitate an improvement in the fiscal balance to -5.3 per cent of GDP in 2023, before deteriorating to -5.4 per cent of GDP in 2024. The debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to increase to 52.5 per cent of GDP in 2023, before declining to 49.4 per cent of GDP in 2024, as a result of the base effect of GDP. The current account balance is projected to narrow to -13.6 per cent of GDP in 2023 and further to -8.9 per cent of GDP in 2024.

Probable Headwinds
Insecurity is the key headwind that Niger faces in the short-to-medium-term. The situation threatens to adversely impact agricultural output. Furthermore, a less than favourable weather pattern could affect agricultural output and derail the gains made in 2022. A delay in the completion of the oil pipeline to Benin will impact crude oil production adversely, affecting GDP growth and resource rents.

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