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Africa’s economic outlook improves in 2017

Africa’s economic performance has improved in 2017 compared to 2016, with the gain of momentum expect to carry on to 2018.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth has risen from 2.2% – in to 2016 – to 3.0%, and is expected to continue to rise to 3.7% in 2018.

These figures are lower than previous projections, with 2017 expecting to reach 3.4% and 2018 to hit 4.2%.

However, the global economics growth projections only expected 3.5% GDP growth in 2017, and 3.6% in 2018.

The reasons for such improvement across the continent are the recovery in the global economy and bottoming out of the commodity price bust, the steady domestic demand and public investments in infrastructure, and strong export performance and higher government revenues expecting to narrow fiscal and current account deficits.


The African Development Bank released these statistics in an updated forecast released on 12 October.

“The changes in previous forecasts released in the African Economic Outlook in May 2017 have followed the release of new data by some key countries –Nigeria, Algeria, and Egypt– which account for some 50% of the continent’s GDP and which revised their 2017 and 2018 forecasts downwards,” commented Abebe Shimeles, acting Director of Macroeconomics Policy, Forecasting and Research.

East Africa is still the fastest growing region, as it estimates a growth to of 5.4% in 2017 and 5.8% in 2018 from its already high 5.1% in 2016.

North Africa are the second fastest growing region, followed by Southern Africa, and then Central and West Africa.