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Africa Economy – July 2013

Source: OPEC 8/3/2013, Location: Africa

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Overall African economies are projected to grow at 4.1%, down from June‘s forecast of 4.4%. This revision, however, is mainly due to an upward revision of the 2012 comparison base year on the strong comeback of Libya after its economic contraction in 2011. Moreover, Africa is forecast to post GDP growth of 4.4% in 2014. As with the previous year, political instability is continuing to be the prime source of uncertainty on the continent during 2013 and 2014.

Egypt’s GDP forecast is 2.0% for this year, similar to its previous year estimated growth. While developments were initially positively received in the country by stock and currency markets, the latest events have again raised concerns; political unrest is hitting during the tourist season peak, a scenario that is almost surely negatively impacting the economy. Most probably, concrete and tangible improvements are not expected to materialize before the end of this year in the best-case scenario. Egypt‘s June MPI indicated a further scale down in its non-oil producing private sector. The index stayed in contraction territory for the ninth month in a row. The rate of contraction ramped up in June to 47.5, compared to 48.5 in May. The survey showed that political instability has caused declines in output and new orders.

South Africa is foreseen to grow at a rate of 2.3% in 2013. A weaker currency (the rand) which depreciated around 15% against the dollar this year, as well as lower exports to Europe, bearish gold market and strikes in the mining industry are putting pressure on investment and overall growth in output. Despite that, inflation slowed in May for the first time in four months to 5.6% and the benchmark interest rate has been kept at 5.0%, aimed at taming inflation that at 6% stands near the upper range.

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