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IMF Sees African Growth at 6%

| News by Staff Reporter

The IMF has forecast growth of 6% in Africa in 2012

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday released its outlook for growth in sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 and forecast growth of 6% by economies in the region.

The document also warned, however, of significant risk from global financial volatility that could result in subdued demand and private inflows into the continent.

Growth in 2011 was expected to remain on average above 5%, said the IMF, while growth was forecast to increase a further percentage point the following year.

“The growth rate is expected to increase in 2012 to nearly 6 percent, because of one-off boosts to production in a number of countries,” according to the IMF’s 2012 Outlook.

“Beneath these good overall trends for SSA (sub-Saharan Africa), however, there is considerable diversity,” the IMF added.

It said most low-income countries were performing well but that poorer households were badly affected by rising fuel, electricity and food prices. Some middle-income countries had been severely affected by the global financial crisis while oil exporters had reaped the benefits of elevated oil prices.

“In South Africa, with unemployment stubbornly high, growth will be limited to at most 3½ percent this year,” said the IMF.

There were also risks presented from within the region such as rising inflation rates which drive fuel and food prices higher, while some countries have seen much sharper increases in inflation, extending beyond the immediate impact of higher fuel and food prices.

Ms. Antoinette Monsio Sayeh. Director of the IMF’s African Department, said, “Policies need to tread a fine line between addressing the challenges posed by strong growth and preparing to ward off the potentially adverse effects of another global downturn.

“At the same time, Sub-Saharan Africa needs to continue to invest in growth and employment, which are critical for sustained poverty reduction.”

Source: www.bizpremises.co.za