Coronavirus round-up, defaults nearing

The coronavirus continued to ripple through Sub-Saharan Africa this week, with policymakers ramping up containment measures. But there are reasons to think that severe restrictions will be less effective in the region than elsewhere. Meanwhile, growing pressure on public finances is pushing sovereigns ever closer to debt restructuring.
Virag Forizs Emerging Markets Economist
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Africa Data Response

South Africa Manufacturing PMI (Jul.)

South Africa’s manufacturing PMI tanked in July as activity was hit by violent unrest and tighter virus containment measures. And while activity is likely to rebound this month, South Africa’s recovery is likely to continue to lag behind other major EMs.

2 August 2021

Africa Economics Weekly

South Africa’s fiscal tightrope, FX reshuffling in Nigeria

"Post-unrest relief measures announced by the South African authorities will probably go some way to offset the blow to the economy. The government expects to be able to stick to its fiscal consolidation plan, but the path to do so has narrowed again. Meanwhile in Nigeria, the central bank’s move this week to shake up foreign exchange provision in the country risks hurting economic activity and exacerbating inflationary pressures."

30 July 2021

Africa Chart Book

Delta threat building

The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 seems to be dominant now across much of Sub-Saharan Africa and is driving new waves in many of the large economies. South Africa appears to be over the worst of its latest outbreak, although it now has to contend with the legacy of violence and unrest earlier this month. Elsewhere, cases are rising quickly and could dampen recoveries. Extremely low vaccine coverage makes the region particularly vulnerable to this variant and potential future ones. Even in South Africa, where the rollout is quick by regional standards, at the current pace it would take a year for vaccine coverage to reach the levels offering protection against new variants seen in DMs.

29 July 2021

More from Virag Forizs

Africa Data Response

South Africa Manufacturing PMI (May)

The rise in South Africa’s manufacturing PMI in May points to an improvement in underlying economic conditions in the sector, but we think that the recovery will  be held back by key headwinds including another virus surge, slow vaccine rollout, power cuts and austerity.

1 June 2021

Africa Economics Weekly

Naira devalued for real, utility deals in Ethiopia & SA

Policymakers in Nigeria appear to have bowed to pressure to devalue the official exchange rate, which will probably improve the public finances and help unlock multilateral financing. That said, a unified and fairly valued naira is unlikely to follow any time soon. Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s ambitious reform agenda seems to be faltering on nearly all fronts. In South Africa, troubled electricity provider Eskom was a source of good news this week for a change, but power cuts are likely to remain a threat to the economic outlook.

28 May 2021

Africa Economics Update

CBN keeps inflation-fighting tools on the shelf

Policymakers in Nigeria kept their benchmark rate on hold at 11.50% at today’s MPC meeting, opting to emphasise the fragile nature of the economic recovery over elevated inflation. With price pressures likely to ease, we think that monetary policy settings will remain unchanged over our forecast horizon.

25 May 2021
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