World Economy

Central African Economies Contract

Central African Economies ContractCentral African Economies Contract

Central Africa’s CEMAC bloc is expected by the International Monetary Fund to have suffered a 0.6% economic contraction in 2017, an improvement on last year’s 1% but well below an earlier forecast of 0.7% growth, Reuters reported. The oil-producing zone—comprising Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Congo Republic and Central African Republic—has been hit by a slump in crude prices since 2014 and by cutbacks in public spending. The IMF said in a statement late on Monday that it had revised up the public debt-to-GDP ratio for the region to over 50% as of the end of 2016. The ratio stood at 28% at the end of 2014. Several Central African Economic and Monetary Community, or CEMAC, countries receive financial assistance from the IMF, and Congo Republic is currently in negotiations for a bailout after its public or publicly guaranteed debt spiked this year to 110% of GDP. Two-fifths of Africa’s people are living in economies where per capita GDP is expected to shrink in the coming year, IMF chief Christine Lagarde had warned on December 15.  


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