South Africa is likely to be the worst performer in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) with a projected gross domestic product (GDP) expansion of 0.7% this year.
This is according to the latest outlook for the region by FocusEconomics.
Ivory Coast is expected to grow the fastest this year, followed by Ethiopia and Tanzania. These three countries are expected to have GDP growth rates above 6.0%. Among the other major economies in the region, Kenya and Nigeria are expected to expand by 5.8% and 2.8%, respectively.
Looking forward, the SSA economy will likely remain vulnerable even though growth is expected to accelerate mildly, according to FocusEconomics.
The main external challenges the region faced last year – such as subdued commodity prices and China’s slowdown along with domestic headwinds such as currency devaluations, political uncertainty and security threats – will likely threaten growth this year as well.
FocusEconomics’ panel of analysts, therefore, revised down the outlook for SSA for the fifth consecutive period this month. Panellists expect the region to expand 3.2% this year, which is down 0.5 percentage points from last month’s estimate.
This month’s downward revision reflects cuts to the outlook for 9 of the 13 economies surveyed, including Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Conversely, panellists maintained projections for Kenya and Uganda. The forecasts for Botswana and Ivory Coast were the only ones revised up this month.
For 2017, the panel foresees the SSA economy expanding 4.3%.