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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Real GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) increased in 2004 to an eight-year high of 5 percent, and average inflation has fallen to historical lows. Real GDP per capita increased by 2.7 percent. Output growth continues to be particularly strong in the oil-producing countries, but it has also been encouraging in many oil-importing countries. Nonetheless, growth remains below the level required for SSA countries to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving income poverty by 2015 and is lower than in other emerging market and developing country regions.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Real GDP growth in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) increased in 2004 to an eight-year high of 5 percent, and average inflation has fallen to historical lows. Real GDP per capita increased by 2.7 percent. Output growth continues to be particularly strong in the oil-producing countries, but it has also been encouraging in many oil-importing countries. Nonetheless, growth remains below the level required for SSA countries to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving income poverty by 2015 and is lower than in other emerging market and developing country regions.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

This year looks set to be another encouraging one for most sub-Saharan African economies. Reflecting mainly strong demand but also elevated commodity prices, the region's economy is set to expand by more than 5¼ percent in 2011. For 2012, the IMF staff's baseline projection is for growth to be higher at 5¾ percent, owing to one-off boosts to production in a number of countries. There are, however, specters at the feast: the increase in global food and fuel prices, amplified by drought affecting parts of the region, has hit the budgets of the poor and sparked rising inflation, and hesitations in the global recovery threaten to weaken export and growth prospects. The projection for 2012 for the region is highly contingent on global economic growth being sustained at about 4 percent. A further slowing of growth in advanced economies, curtailing global demand, would generate significant headwinds for the region's ongoing expansion, with more globally integrated countries likely to be most affected. Policies in the coming months need to tread a fine line between addressing the challenges that strong growth and recent exogenous shocks have engendered and warding off the adverse effects of another global downturn. In some slower-growing, mostly middle-income countries without binding financial constraints, policies should clearly remain supportive of output growth, even more so if global growth sputters. Provided the global economy experiences the currently predicted slow and steady growth, most of the region's low-income countries should focus squarely on medium-term considerations in setting fiscal policy while tightening monetary policy wherever nonfood inflation has climbed above single digits. In the event of a global downturn, subject to financing constraints, policies in these countries should focus on maintaining planned spending initiatives, while allowing automatic stabilizers to operate on the revenue side. For the region's oil exporters, better terms of trade provide a good opportunity to build up policy buffers against further price volatility.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Macroeconomic outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa continue to strengthen, reflecting domestic policy adjustments and a supportive external environment, including continued steady growth in the global economy, higher commodity prices, and accommodative external financing conditions. Growth is expected to increase from 2.7 percent in 2017 to 3.1 percent in 2018; inflation is abating; and fiscal imbalances are being contained in many countries.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, there has been a spectacular increase in nonofficial cross-border capital flows to sub-Saharan Africa.1 With official development assistance to the region on a declining trend, these flows could provide much-needed financing for development initiatives and boost economic growth and welfare. However, large inflows could also pose macroeconomic and financial stability challenges such as economic overheating, currency overvaluation, and unsustainable domestic credit and asset price booms. In the absence of adequate fiscal and macroprudential frameworks, inflows may also encourage excessive borrowing by the public and private sectors, and exacerbate currency, maturity, and capital structure mismatches on balance sheets—leaving countries vulnerable to a sudden reversal of capital flows that may be triggered by factors extraneous to the recipient economy.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The current wave of technological advances is set to shake up the landscape for jobs within countries and across the world. Previous periods of technological change have led to higher living standards, but transition periods were marked by fears over the future of work as existing jobs were made obsolete and it took time for new and different jobs to arise. Today again, there are fears that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be disruptive, as technology replaces workers, possibly leading to lower income shares and rising inequality.1 While most countries are facing this wave of technological change at a time of declining working populations—and are keen to embrace the opportunity to sustain or increase output levels with fewer workers—the challenge for sub-Saharan Africa, where working populations continue to grow rapidly, is very different.