Nigeria To Iead Sub-Sahara’s Economic Rebound, Says World Bank

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The World Bank Group yesterday lowered its 2016 sub-Saharan African growth forecast to 3.3 per cent from a previous forecast of 4.4 per cent in October, citing plunging global commodity prices.

For Nigeria, it was a glimpse of positive outcome as it was included among the three economies in the sub-region to lead growth through projected stability in commodity prices next year.

This is contained in the latest assessment of the global economy – World Economic Outlook, by the Bretton Woods institution.

The bank noted that the commodity price rout, particularly for oil, which fell 67 per cent from June 2014 to December 2015, as well as weak global growth, was behind the region’s poor economic performance.

“Overall, growth is projected to pick up in 2017-2018 to 4.5 per cent,” the World Bank said.

It, however, projected an uptick in economic activities in the continent next year, which would be driven by economic powerhouses – Nigeria, South Africa and Angola, as commodity prices stabilise.

According to Reuters, Nigeria and Angola are the continent’s top two crude oil exporters with battered economic outcome as a result of sharp lower crude prices, while South Africa was also hit by lower platinum, iron ore and coal prices.

“There were some bright spots where growth continued to be robust such as in Cote d’Ivoire, which saw a favourable policy environment and rising investment, as well as oil importers such as Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania,” the World Bank stated.

In addition, the multilateral institution said it expects its non-market rate lending to top $43 billion in the current fiscal year as developing countries face economic headwinds, bringing its total for the past four years to more than $150 billion.

(The Guardian Newspaper)

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