Angola: Economic sentiment rises to five-quarter high in Q1 2021 but remains pessimistic
In the first quarter of the year, economic sentiment continued its upward trend. However, confidence remained pessimistic as the sentiment index came in at minus 9 in the first quarter, from minus 16 in the fourth quarter of last year. This marked the 23rd straight quarter of downbeat confidence. Looking at the sectors, downbeat views were broad-based with all but two sectors remaining in pessimistic territory. Sentiment of firms in the manufacturing, and communication sectors was optimistic.
Goods producers on average experienced fewer constraints to production than in the first quarter of last year. Companies have found ways to cope with the pandemic, despite lingering restrictive measures. However, firms were held back by supply shortages of raw materials and frequent mechanical breakdowns of equipment. Lack of manpower also limited productive capacity. Sentiment in the communication sector was supported by current activity levels and healthier demand for services.
The outlook for the economy remains challenging, with continued uncertainty over the course of the pandemic amid slow vaccination progress; around 2.3% of the population has received a first jab as of 8 June. The prolongation of the health crisis will delay the easing of restrictive measures, weighing on activity.