quinta-feira, 14 de julho de 2011

Sub-Saharan Africa should return to pre-crisis growth rate in 2011, says IMF

MAPUTO, Mozambique – Economic growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa should return this year to the high levels seen in the mid-2000s, before the international credit crunch, driven by an increase in global trade and a rise in the prices of raw materials, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The countries of sub-Saharan Africa should grow 5.5 percent on average in 2011, not far behind the average growth rate of 6.6 percent seen between 2004 and 2008, the year in which the global recession began. The region’s recovery is thanks in part to improved economic policies that many countries put in place before the crisis, according to Victor Lledo, the IMF’s resident representative in Mozambique.

Oil exporting countries are showing the strongest recovery while the outlook is less favourable for middle-income countries - a group dominated by South Africa - where the recovery will be more gradual. However, high food and fuel prices could still have a negative affect on the region’s recovery, leading to higher inflation in many countries.

“Africa, unlike during other crises, has shown more resilience,” Lledo said, speaking to journalists from Portuguese-speaking African countries on a financial and economic reporting course in late June in Maputo.

“This resilience has been evident across sub-Saharan Africa, primarily thanks to better economic policies adopted before the global recession,” he told the course, organised by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) at the Mozambican parliament.


Following strong average growth rates in the mid-2000s, growth in sub-Saharan Africa slumped in 2009 to 2.8 percent. Last year, the region showed its first signs of recovery, growing at 5 percent.

Growth for 2012 is forecast at 6 percent, according to the IMF’s regional outlook for the region, published in April.

Mozambique is one of the African nations that will continue to show strong growth, Lledo said. This year, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow at an inflation-adjusted rate of 7.25 percent and 8 percent over the medium-term, according to IMF forecasts.

However, this strong growth is not benefiting the population as hoped.

“Mozambique is showing sustained growth but poverty reduction has stagnated,” Lledo added.

Mozambique grew at an average of 7.8 percent in the four years before the economic crisis and is among the ten countries in the world that have shown the strongest growth rates since 2000.

However, it continues to be one of the poorest countries in the world and was ranked 165 out of 169 on the United Nations’ Human Development Index in 2010, followed only by Burundi, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.

Inflation, meanwhile, is slowing and the IMF forecasts inflation of 9.5 percent this year, compared with 12.7 percent in 2010. This trend should continue in 2012.

“Inflation seems to be evolving in a satisfactory way,” added Lledo.

Publicado em Trust Media (Thomson Reuters Foundation), a 8 de Julho de 2011

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