World Bank cuts 2019 growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa

The World Bank has cut its 2019 growth forecast for sub-Saharan Africa to 2.8% from an initial 3.3%, citing a decline in industrial production and the impact of a trade dispute between the US and China.

The bank’s 2019 forecast means that economic growth will remain behind population growth in the region for the fourth year in a row.

“The slower-than-expected overall growth reflects ongoing global uncertainty, but increasingly comes from domestic macroeconomic instability including poorly managed debt, inflation and deficits,” the bank said.

Key economies such as Nigeria, South Africa and Angola, which make up about 60% of sub-Saharan Africa’s annual economic output, have also faced challenges, according to the bank.

“This downward revision reflects slower growth in Nigeria and Angola, due to challenges in the oil sector, and subdued investment growth in South Africa, due to low business confidence,” it said.

Nigeria’s economy did grow by an estimated 1.9% last year, reflecting a modest pick up in the non-oil sector. South Africa came out of recession in the third quarter of 2018, but investors were still cautious due to policy uncertainty, said the bank. Angola stayed in recession as oil production remained weak.