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Africa Economics Update

Ethiopia: Unlikely to replicate exceptional growth again

Ethiopia has been grappling with the fallout from its internal conflict and severe drought which, coming alongside spillovers from the war in Ukraine, will result in much weaker growth in the coming years and a sovereign debt restructuring is likely. Over the medium-term, we're doubtful that the government will be able to push through its ambitious reform agenda. Ethiopia’s growth miracle, in which the economy grew at rates of 8-12%, has come to an end.

10 August 2022

Africa Economics Update

Kenya: elections no cure for economic woes

Kenya’s general election scheduled for Tuesday is set against a challenging economic backdrop, and no matter the winner, the country’s outlook is likely to remain overshadowed by large macroeconomic imbalances and high public debt risks. Oil and the Gulf Drop-In (9th Aug): What’s the outlook for oil prices and what does that mean for Gulf economic outperformance? Join economists from our Commodities and Emerging Markets teams for this 20-minute briefing. Register now.

5 August 2022

Africa Economics Update

SARB slams on the monetary policy brakes

South Africa’s central bank upped the pace of tightening further with a 75bp hike, to 5.50%, as policymakers’ intensifying fears about inflation (and inflation expectations) trumped any concerns about the slow and bumpy economic recovery. The increasingly hawkish tone of the MPC means that we now think that the repo rate will rise to 7.75% by mid-2023 (previously 6.50%).

21 July 2022

Africa Economics Update

Inflation fight in centre stage at CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria followed up May’s 150bp interest rate hike with a 100bp increase in the benchmark rate today, to 14.00%, as worries about inflation continued to mount. We now expect a 50bp hike at the next MPC meeting, although with inflation then likely to peak, concerns about weak growth will probably prompt policymakers to bring the tightening cycle to an end.

19 July 2022

Africa Economics Update

Ghana and the IMF: big hurdles to debt sustainability

The decision by Ghana’s government to turn to the IMF will help to restore some calm among investors over the country’s poor public finances. But a very large fiscal squeeze is needed to restore debt sustainability and recent protests highlight the political difficulty of pushing that through. The result is that the debt-to-GDP ratio will remain on an upwards trajectory. EM Drop-In (Thurs, 7th July): Join our economists for their regular monthly briefing on the hot stories in EMs – and those that aren’t getting the attention they deserve. In this 20-minute session, topics will include the outlook for EM FX markets after the recent sell-offs. Register now.

6 July 2022

Africa Economics Update

Loadshedding and the hit to South Africa’s economy

If past experience is anything to go by, deepening electricity supply cuts in South Africa are likely to deal a heavy blow to activity in energy-intensive sectors such as mining and manufacturing. Even if loadshedding is scaled back in the coming weeks, efforts to overhaul the country’s energy infrastructure will take time and persistent power problems will remain a perennial headwind to economic growth. EM Drop-In (Thurs, 7th July): Join our economists for their regular monthly briefing on the hot stories in EMs – and those that aren’t getting the attention they deserve. In this 20-minute session, topics will include the outlook for EM FX markets after the recent sell-offs. Register now.

30 June 2022

Africa Economics Update

Where next for inflation in South Africa?

Inflation in South Africa has been close to the top of the central bank’s target range in recent months, but the country has avoided the surge in inflation seen across much of the world. And there are reasons to think that the headline rate will drop back sharply by the end of this year. That underpins our view that monetary policy will ultimately be tightened by less than investors currently expect.

21 June 2022

Africa Economics Update

Signs of Nigeria’s recovery decelerating further

The latest data from Nigeria suggest that the economic rebound slowed further at the start of Q2, and we think that the recovery will remain lacklustre over the coming quarters. The weakness of the economy may give monetary policymakers second thoughts about maintaining an aggressive pace of tightening. World with Higher Rates - Drop-In (21st June, 10:00 ET/15:00 BST): Does monetary policy tightening automatically mean recession? Are EMs vulnerable? How will financial market returns be affected? Join our special 20-minute briefing to find out what higher rates mean for macro and markets. Register now  

16 June 2022

Africa Economics Update

Tanzania: near-term struggles, long-term outlook brighter

Unfavourable shifts in commodity prices, the effects of drought and a slow rebound in the tourism sector will hold back Tanzania’s economy over the next couple of years. But while the near-term outlook is weaker than most think, President Hassan’s reversal of her predecessor’s anti-business policies bodes well for the country’s longer-term outlook. India Drop-In (8th June, 10:00 ET/15:00 BST): We’ll be discussing India’s growth, inflation and policy outlook in the wake of the RBI’s June meeting, including what to do about the rupee. Register now.

6 June 2022

Africa Economics Update

War in Ukraine inflames food insecurity in Africa

The outsize role of agriculture in Sub-Saharan African economies and the tendency to rely on imported food products makes the region particularly vulnerable to the agricultural shock caused by the war in Ukraine. In addition to the risk of food shortages, external – and in some cases fiscal – positions are set to weaken. The accompanying rise in inflation will add to the economic pain on the back of the conflict.

25 May 2022

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