Nigeria's Economy Surpasses South Africa's in Size Nigeria's GDP Measured at $510 Billion in 2013

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Nigeria on Sunday took a big step past South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy, a pivotal moment for two aspiring global players and one that validates foreign companies’ moves into Africa’s riskier markets. Nigeria’s nominal gross domestic product was $510 billion in 2013, 89% larger than previously estimated, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics said, and $190 billion more than South Africa’s slow-growing economy. That’s larger than the 40% to 60 % bump most economists expected. The new number stems from a half-decade effort to measure one of the world’s biggest informal markets. The latest time Nigeria took such a full measure of its economy was 1990. But Nigerian numbers crunchers traversed the West African nation by motorcycle and speedboat, visiting Internet cafe owners, movie producers and other businesspeople to record previously uncaptured commercial activity. “Yes, we are surprised at the figures,” said Yemi Kale, the statistician-general for the statistics agency. Three times the agency delayed the announcement to check the math, he said. Nigeria’s population is young and growing fast, leading many companies to the home of one in six Africans. “If you’re not in Nigeria, you’re not in Africa,” said Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. “And you’re kidding yourself.” Read the full story on wsj.com.

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