Following months of lockdowns which have muted economic activity a Reuters poll taken in the past week suggested the region will contract 3.1% this year but bounce back to around 3.5% growth in 2021. Some countries have begun relaxing restrictions but virus cases are still increasing, unlike in many developed countries that have started to show signs of recovery, so the uncertainty meant the range of forecasts for next year was wide – between flatlining and 4.8% growth. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, was expected to contract 3.7% this year but bounce back to 2.0% growth next year. Continental peer South Africa was expected to grow 3.5% next year following an 8.0% contraction this year, a Reuters poll showed last week. However, Ghana, one of the continents oil exporters, was still expected to grow, expanding 1.9% this year and 4.2% in 2021. Kenya – east Africa’s biggest economy – was expected to have a lacklustre performance this year with no growth, a poor outcome having averaged around 6% annual growth in the past decade.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA