The IMF has downgraded growth its forecast for global growth this year as the world grapples with an economic downturn that is spreading fast. The IMF in its report noted that whilst global growth is expected to come from emerging markets they ironically will record the slowest growth this year.
Emerging countries expected to record the slowest growth are Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa and Russia.
Growth in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to slow this year to 3.8 percent (from 5.0 percent in 2014, a 0.7 percentage point downward revision relative to April). The slowdown in 2015 is primarily driven by the repercussions of declining commodity prices, particularly those for oil, as well as lower demand from China—the largest single trade partner of sub-Saharan Africa—and the tightening of global financial conditions for the region’s frontier market economies.
Among the region’s oil exporters, Nigeria’s growth is now projected at 4 percent in 2015, some 2¼ percentage points lower than last year, and growth in Angola is also expected to decline to 3.5 percent from close to 5 percent in 2014.
Among the region’s oil importers—projected to grow at 4 percent on average—a majority will continue to experience solid growth, especially low-income countries, where investment in infrastructure continues and private consumption remains strong.
In Ghana, power shortages and fiscal consolidation are also weighing on activity, which is projected to slow further in 2015 to 3.5 percent. Growth for the region is projected to pick up in 2016 to 4.3 percent, with the global recovery supporting a moderate pickup in external demand, the modest recovery in oil prices benefiting oil exporters, and an improvement in the outlook for Ebola-affected countries.
South Africa’s growth is projected to be below 1½ percent both this year and next, reflecting electricity-load shedding and other supply bottlenecks.
Other African Countries
Countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Tanzania are still expected to register growth of about 7 percent or above this year and next. But others, such as Sierra Leone and Zambia, are feeling the pinch from lower prices for their main export commodity, even as lower oil prices relieve their energy import bill.