Economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to remain robust at a 5% growth in 2013 and 6.2% in 2014, said the International Monetary Fund’s latest Regional Economic Report Outlook published on 31 October 2013.
The IMF said the latest outlook was not as strong as portrayed in the May 2013 edition, characterised by rising financing costs, less dynamic emerging market economies, and less favourable commodity prices, as well as diverse domestic factors.
“Growth is expected to be particularly strong in mineral-exporting and low-income countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and a few others,” said Antoinette Monsio Sayeh, Director of the IMF’s Africa Department.
“For example, in Nigeria, oil production is expected to increase in 2014 and electricity reform is advancing,” Sayeh said.
The main factor behind the continuing growth in most of the region was, as in previous years, strong domestic demand, especially associated with investment in infrastructure and export capacity in many countries, the report added.
On inflation, the report said the region was expected to remain moderate in 2013 and 2014, reflecting continuing disinflation in low-income countries and benign prospects for food prices.
According to the report, headline inflation in sub-Saharan Africa has been on a declining trend since early 2012, facilitated by a slowdown and occasional reversal in food prices and the maintenance of tight monetary policies.
The report said fiscal deficits were also expected to expand in 2013 and 2014 in many countries in the region, adding that debt indicators remain benign in most countries.