Africa Economic Outlook 2017

SOURCE: African Development Bank Group

In 2017 and 2018, Africa will benefit from commodity prices which started to rise in the latter part of 2016, increasing private demand including in domestic markets, sound macroeconomic policy management now entrenched in many countries, a generally improving and favourable business environment, and a more diversified economic structure, particularly towards the services sector and light manufacturing. Although current account deficits are expected to persist in 2017, they will be narrower compared to 2016, if the recent rise in commodity prices continues. The index of commodity prices was more than a quarter higher at the end of 2016 relative to the same period in 2015. Countries with more predictable policies and buffers should therefore be able to weather the storm in the wake of destabilising external imbalances.

This report analyses recent trends in external financial flows to Africa and domestic revenue collection. It explores how foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, remittances and official development assistance have evolved in 2015 and 2016, and their outlook for 2017. It highlights the growing importance of private flows in comparison to public ones.

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