Africa

Angola

Economic damage report from latest virus waves

The evidence from the latest COVID-19 waves sweeping through Sub-Saharan Africa point to a smaller economic blow compared to previous waves. Of course, there is a considerable degree of divergence, especially between countries imposing harsh restrictions – such as Uganda and Kenya – and those with more light-touch measures, like Nigeria or Ghana. Outside of South Africa, there is little sign that daily new cases are about to peak, suggesting that curbs to tame outbreaks will remain in place and continue to dampen activity. Worryingly, low vaccination rates across the region mean that economies will suffer under on-and-off restrictions with the emergence of any new virus waves.

27 August 2021

OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (Aug.)

OPEC’s oil production soared in July as Saudi Arabia unwound the bulk of its voluntary output cut. Although OPEC left its demand forecast unchanged, we think that the near-term demand outlook has deteriorated, which may mean that the group adjusts down its supply plans at its next meeting.

12 August 2021

Lagging behind

Vaccination campaigns across Sub-Saharan Africa will continue to struggle, leaving the region vulnerable to renewed virus outbreaks. This, combined with tight fiscal policy, a slow return of tourists and falls in commodity prices means that economic recoveries will lag behind those in other parts of the world. GDP across most of the region is likely to stay well below its pre-crisis path over 2021-23.

5 August 2021
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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.

OPEC impasse: what next?

The failure of OPEC+ to agree to new production quotas has created considerable uncertainty about the group’s oil production going forward. In this Update, we lay out three possible scenarios for OPEC+ output in the coming months and what they would mean for oil prices.

Nigeria’s oil reform, Angola’s debt, SA restrictions

Nigeria’s long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill is on the verge of making into law, but it probably comes too late to propel a marked turnaround in the oil sector and will not resolve many other issues afflicting the economy. Elsewhere, the IMF’s view that Angola’s debt position is sustainable is based on some pretty optimistic assumptions regarding growth and fiscal consolidation. Finally, comments from one of South Africa’s MPC members echo our view that the tightening of virus restrictions won’t inflict severe damage on the economy and that interest rates will be raised later and more slowly than investors currently expect.

Third wave fears grow

Worries about a third wave of COVID-19 in the region have intensified in the past month and the tightening of lockdown measures in some countries – most notably South Africa – will weigh on recoveries. As things stand, surges in cases appear concentrated in countries in the south of the continent; cases have trended down in many of the region’s other large economies (e.g. Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia). With vaccine rollouts progressing at a snail’s pace amid low supplies across the region, fresh virus outbreaks will remain a persistent threat to the outlook. The glimmer of hope is that global powers are looking to increase vaccine supplies and, perhaps most importantly, China could be in a position to flood the world with easily-deployable jabs later in the year.

Oil producers heading into deeper crises

The plunge in global oil prices has raised the risk of much steeper contractions in output in African oil producers, sharper currency falls, sovereign debt restructurings and problems at local banks.

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