Economic News in Brief: Focus on the Sub Saharan Region

By Soko Directory Team / February 13, 2018

President Donald Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries" during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House.

According to a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), economic growth in the Sub Saharan region is expected to be 3.3 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent in 2019 as compared to an estimated 2.7 percent for 2017.

IMF raised its growth forecast for Nigeria but expects the South African economy to witness subdued growth (below 1.0%) in 2018–19, due to increased political uncertainty in the country.

In January 2018, Central bank of Kenya maintained its Central Bank Rate at 10 percent due to inflation trending down and a positive macro-environment.

At the same time, Bank of Ghana retained its lending rate at 20 percent, in order to curb inflation. Meanwhile, Central Bank of Nigeria canceled its monetary policy meeting and stated that the rate will remain unchanged at 14 percent.

In December 2017, inflation increased in Ghana and Ivory Coast, while the rest of SSA countries recorded a decrease in inflation. For Burundi, inflation decreased to 10.0 percent YoY in January 2018 due to slower growth in prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, housing, and utilities.

In Kenya, inflation rate decreased to 4.5 percent YoY in December 2017 from 4.7 percent in November, due to a slower growth in prices of housing and utilities.

The annual inflation rate in Nigeria fell to 15.4 percent YoY in December 2017 from 15.9% YoY in November as prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages and housing and utilities rose at a slower pace. Inflation in Uganda decreased to 3.3 percent YoY in December 2017 from 4.0 percent in November due to easing prices of fruits and vegetables. Inflation in Ghana increased marginally to 11.8 percent YoY in December 2017 from 11.7 percent in November, mainly due increase in the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

In Ivory Coast, consumer inflation increased to 1.1 percent YoY in December 2017, mainly due to increase in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

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