DR Congo Economic Outlook
Economic growth should have lost traction so far this year, although largely on a base effect, as the economy grew nearly 9% in 2022. In the first quarter, average inflation was the highest since Q3 2018. In addition, the Central Bank aggressively hiked interest rates through August—delivering a cumulative 1,675 basis points worth of increases so far this year in a bid to support the ailing currency, which plummeted in June. These developments have pressured purchasing power, boding ill for both private consumption and investment. In politics, ahead of the general election on 20 December, the government has accused Rwanda and members of the M23 Movement of impeding the peace process by preventing around 1.5 million citizens from registering to vote. This bodes ill for the proper representation and fairness of the vote.
DR Congo Inflation
In May—the latest month for which data is available—inflation ebbed to 16.6% from April’s 16.9%. Average inflation will accelerate notably this year from 2022, fueled by currency weakness and robust economic activity. Downside risks include additional interest rate increases.