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Africa Economy in January 2015

Source: OPEC 1/19/2015, Location: Africa

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In South Africa, the trade gap decreased to 5.7 billion rand in November from a revised 21.6 billion rand shortfall in the previous month, due to a sharp drop in imports. Imports shrank faster than exports by 18.7% over the previous month, while exports decreased 5.3%. The annual inflation rate eased to 5.8% in November 2014 from 5.9% in the previous two months due to lower food and transport costs. On a monthly basis, consumer prices were flat, following a 0.2% increase in the October. Business activities in the country’s private sector continued to expand in December, though at a slower pace than the previous month. While new export orders rose by strongest rate in 22 months, output and new orders fell for the first time since July 2014.

In Egypt, the annual inflation rate rose to 10.1% in December 2014 from 9.1% in November. Yet core inflation eased for the fourth straight month to 7.7% from 7.8% in the previous period. On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.1%, following a 1.5% drop in November. In contrast, the core CPI grew by 0.3% compared to -0.2% in November. The country’s private sector sent another encouraging signal last month, with the PMI rising to 51.4 in December from 50.7 in November.

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