The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday begins to see chances of early exit from recession this year and switch over to growth lane but at a paltry rate of 0.8 per cent after all.
It said Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016 characterised by recession, a dip in oil prices and energy shortages.
It said “Output in Nigeria is projected to grow by 0.8 percent in 2017 as a result of a recovery in oil production,” said the report, also citing sustained growth in the agricultural sector”.
It also revealed that South Africa, also disturbed by slow growth in 2016 was expected to register a slight improvement of 0.8 percent, up from 0.3 percent in 2016, as the impact of devastating drought was beginning to recede and electricity capacity improved.
It observed further that the continent’s most advanced economy is currently reeling from a recent downgrade to “junk” status by two credit ratings agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, something which could have an adverse impact on the already anaemic economy.
However, IMF averred that Angola, which experienced zero growth in 2016, was expected to show improvement this year, thanks to the effects of economic diversification.
The international lender warned that the outlook remained subdued, saying “Many of the largest non-resource intensive countries will find it increasingly hard to sustain growth through higher public capital spending, as they have done in the past, in the face of rising public debt and a slowing credit cycle.”
Just as Tanzania, Kenya, Ivory Coast and Senegal are forecast to lift GDP by between 5-7 percent in 2017, Ethiopia is expected to grow by 7.5 percent within the period under review.