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Nigeria surpasses South Africa as Africa's biggest economy after rebasing

Published on Apr 6, 2014 11:13 PM

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as Africa's largest economy after a rebasing calculation nearly doubled its gross domestic product, data from the statistics office showed on Sunday.

Gross dompestic product (GDP) for 2013 in Africa's top oil producer totalled 80.3 trillion naira, or US$509.9 billion (S$642 billion), the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics said, an increase from the 42.3 trillion naira estimated before the rebasing.

The new figure shrank Nigeria's debt-to-GDP ratio to 11 per cent for 2013, against 19 per cent in 2012, statistics chief Yemi Kale told reporters in the capital of Abuja.

Most governments overhaul GDP calculations every few years to reflect changes in output and consumption, but Nigeria had not done so since 1990, so sectors such as e-commerce, mobile phones and its prolific "Nollywood" film industry had to be newly factored in to give a more accurate picture.

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