Sub-Saharan Africa's growth prospects still fragile - IMF

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Harare - Once-off factors are likely to drive a modest economic rebound in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In its report released on Tuesday, the IMF said the expected “modest rebound” in Africa’s economic growth will to a large extent be driven by factors in the region’s three largest countries.

“A recovery in oil production in Nigeria, higher public spending ahead of elections in Angola, and the fading of drought effects in South Africa will drive growth,” said the IMF.  

The IMF, which predicted a 2.5% growth in 2017, however said the underlying regional momentum remains weak and at this rate, sub-Saharan African growth will continue to fall well short of past trends and barely exceed population growth.

"Growth momentum in sub-Saharan Africa remains fragile, marking a break from the rapid expansion witnessed since the turn of the millennium."

"At this rate, growth for the region as a whole will continue to fall well short of past trends and barely deliver any per capita gains," it said.

It attributed the deteriorated outlook on delayed and still limited policy adjustments, with an ensuing increase in public debt, declining international reserves, and pressures on financial systems placing stress on private sector activity.

“Additional policy actions are therefore urgently needed to address growing imbalances and ensure macroeconomic stability - both to restore the conditions for strong and sustainable growth in resource-intensive countries and to preserve the existing momentum elsewhere,” the IMF said.

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