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Sub-Saharan Africa economy predicted to grow 2.6 pct this year: IMF

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The outlook for the region remains subdued as output growth is expected only moderately to exceed population growth over the forecast horizon, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report.

However, the IMF has termed the growth forecast this year as a modest recovery, after economic growth in the region only grew 1.4 percent last year.

The IMF has forecast a modest 0.8-percent growth for the region's largest economy South Africa this year as commodity prices rebound, drought conditions ease, and electricity capacity expands.

Meanwhile, output in Nigeria is also projected to grow 0.8 percent in 2017 as a result of a recovery in oil production, continued growth in agriculture, and higher public investment, according to the report. The country's economy contracted by 1.5 percent in 2016.

The IMF warned geopolitical risks and a range of other non-economic factors such as civil war and domestic conflict in parts of the Middle East and Africa, the protracted effects of a drought in eastern and southern Africa, may deepen the hardship in directly affected countries if these factors intensify.

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