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IMF predicts solid growth for Nigeria

17 April 2013, 14:33

Lagos - The International Monetary Fund, IMF, in its latest economic forecast has predicted that economic growth of around 7% is expected for Nigeria.

The IMF's World Economic Outlook report also predicted that activities in Africa’s reinvigorated economies will “remain robust” this year and next.

According to the report, Regional GDP is expected to increase 5.6 percent in 2013, slightly lower than previously expected, but still among the fastest rates seen anywhere in the world.

The report states: "Resource-rich economies like Nigeria (7.2 percent) and growing lower-income economies like Mozambique (8.4 percent) are expected to lead the way.

"Only two countries, Swaziland and Equatorial Guinea are expected to see their economies shrink.

"Next year an economic resurgence in South Africa — the regional powerhouse — is expected to push sub-Saharan growth to around 6.1 percent, faster than first thought."

The South African economy, hobbled this year because of “sluggish mining production” and a downturn in key Eurozone export markets, is forecast to grow at 3.3 percent next year.

But, the IMF admits, the regional outlook for 2014 depends on improvements in the economic outlook for Europe and other key export markets.

Its warning that some African economies remain vulnerable to external shocks came as lower Chinese growth figures pummelled gold prices.

The largest drop in the precious metal’s spot price in three decades sent the Johannesburg Stock Exchange down 1.6 percent on Monday, with many major producers taking a beating, the report said.

“The main risks to the outlook for sub-Saharan Africa stem from the external environment, although domestic security and political risks should not be discounted,” the report stated.

“Given the still-uncertain global environment, countries whose policy buffers are thin and where growth is strong should seek to rebuild fiscal position.”

The IMF said growth came in slightly lower than October forecasts thanks to the impact of floods on Nigerian output and labour stoppages in South Africa.

– CAJ News

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