Economic Snapshot for Sub-Saharan Africa
March 25, 2020
Growth is expected to deteriorate in 2020
The region’s 2020 economic outlook deteriorated markedly this month owing to the intensifying coronavirus fallout and slump in commodity prices, particularly of oil. Major risks to the outlook include the disruption to tourism and remittances; slowdown in investment and thus job losses; fall in fiscal revenues and FX earnings; and increased strain to healthcare systems.
Sub-Saharan Africa Monetary & Financial Sector News
Regional inflation slowed for the first time in nearly a year at the outset of 2020, coming in at 14.7% in January (December: 15.6%). Falling inflation in Ethiopia and Ghana mainly led the deceleration. Price pressures in the region are expected to ease this year amid still-tight monetary conditions.
The central banks of Ghana, Kenya and South Africa delivered sharp cuts to their benchmark rates in March to contain the adverse economic impacts from the fast-spreading coronavirus. Monetary authorities across the region also unveiled various measures to free up liquidity in the banking system and real economy. Most of the region’s currencies weakened against the U.S. dollar over the past month.
Virtually all of the region’s currencies lost ground against the USD recently amid sharp emerging-market risk-off sentiment on rising fears over the coronavirus outbreak. Notably, Nigeria’s Central Bank devalued the naira after coming under pressure due to the oil price plunge. The vast majority of currencies in the region are expected to depreciate further this year compared to 2019.
5 years of Sub-Saharan Africa economic forecasts for more than 30 economic indicators.
Sub-Saharan Africa Economic News
March 27, 2020
At its 27 March meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the National Bank of Angola (BNA) held its key policy rate unchanged at 15.50%.
March 24, 2020
At its meeting on 23–24 March, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unanimously decided to retain its monetary policy rate unchanged, as well as all other monetary policy parameters—bucking the global trend of monetary easing amid the coronavirus fallout.
March 23, 2020
The Ghanaian cedi lost most of its early-year gains against the U.S. dollar through end of March as the global fallout from the coronavirus pandemic intensified.
March 23, 2020
The Angolan kwanza plunged against the U.S. dollar in mid-March against the backdrop of crashing global crude oil prices and as the increasing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic fuels fears of an impending global recession.
March 23, 2020
The Kenyan shilling (KES) plummeted against the U.S. dollar in recent weeks as fears over the impact of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic rattled markets.
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