UN: Africa expected to see moderate growth recovery in 2017/18

1024px UN General Assembly hallThe UN General Assembly hall in New York, USA. (Image source: UN/Commons)The United Nations report that higher global commodity prices and stronger domestic demand will support Africa's growth 

This United Nations report shows that world gross product grew by just 2.2 per cent in 2016, marking its slowest pace of expansion since the 2009 recession. Global growth is projected to see a moderate improvement to 2.7 per cent in 2017 and 2.9 per cent in 2018, but this is more an indication of economic stabilization than a signal of a robust revival of global demand.

Against this backdrop, Africa is expected to see a recovery in growth, with GDP expanding by 3.2 per cent in 2017 and 3.8 per cent in 2018, up from 1.7 per cent in 2016. The projected increase in global commodity prices will ease fiscal and external pressures for commodity exporters, but a strong growth rebound in these countries appears unlikely. Several other countries, such as those in the East African Community and some Western African economies, enjoy a more favourable growth outlook.

The report states that there will be large differences in growth prospects among the five African subregions. East Africa is to remain the fastest-growing subregion, with aggregate GDP projected to grow by about 6 per cent in 2017 and 2018, helped by the rapid expansion of domestic markets and strong spending on infrastructure.

"West Africa is expected to see growth rebound from 0.1 per cent in 2016 to 3.1 per cent in 2017, as the projected increase in oil prices eases severe fiscal and external pressures in Nigeria. For several other West African countries, such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal, the growth outlook remains strong, underpinned by large infrastructure investments and an improved domestic business climate."

"Meanwhile, growth in North Africa is projected to accelerate from 2.6 per cent in 2016 to 3.5 per cent in 2017, contingent on a gradual improvement in the security situation."

"The growth outlook for Southern Africa is relatively subdued, with economic activity projected to improve modestly to 1.8 per cent in 2017 and 2.6 per cent in 2018. While South Africa is expected to benefit from a moderate recovery in the agriculture and mining sector, political uncertainty may weigh on investor sentiments."

"Growth in Central Africa is projected to strengthen from 2.4 per cent in 2016 to 3.4 per cent in 2017, as higher oil prices support export revenues and growth, particularly in Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. However, ongoing domestic political unrest will restrain economic activity in the Central African Republic and Gabon."

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