After a long downtime across Nigerian sectors over the sprouted coronavirus pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that the country might resumes employment in August 2020.
Brandnewsday gathers that the Apex bank made this known on the CBN Business Expectation Survey which was published recently on the CBN’s website.
Meanwhile, findings from the survey show a generally optimistic outlook for August with a confidence index of 33.7 points and hope that the volume of business activities would increase in the next 2 to 6 months to justify the employment outlook.
CBN Business Expectation Survey
The business survey was conducted by the statistics department of the Central Bank of Nigeria in July 2020, and it involved a sample of 1050 businesses with a 96% response rate. Respondent firms include small, medium and large businesses cut across agriculture, services, manufacturing, wholesale/retail trade, and construction sectors, both import and export-oriented, across the country.
Sector by sector breakdown showed that wholesale/retail trade had the highest prospect for employment in August with an index of 16.4 points, while manufacturing trailed closely behind with 14.6 points. Respondent firms in Agric/services put the employment prospect index at 3.1 points.
The wholesale/retail trade sector is also highly optimistic on expansion plans, showing an index of 46.3 points, while the construction sector had an index of 45.0 points. Agric/services sector had an index of 43.4 and manufacturing sector had 39.7 points all pointing towards a positive disposition to expand in the current month (August).
With such expansion plans in view, the borrowing rate is also expected to increase in August, September, and December 2020 with confidence indices of 10.5, 15.7 and 16.1 points respectively.
This is in spite of the obvious challenges which the firms face, which include insufficient power supply, competition, unfavourable economic climate, financial problems, and high-interest rates.
Unclear economic laws, unfavourable political climate, insufficient demand, difficulties in accessing credit and equipment also pose major constraints to business activities.
Outlook: Naira Appreciates
On the exchange rate, firms are positive that the Naira will appreciate in August, September, and December, with 3.0, 16.5 and 49.4 confidence index points respectively. Meanwhile, the inflation level is expected to rise in the next 6 to 12 months (December 2020 and June 2021), at 13.92 and 13.95 per cent.