Growth lowest in 15 years, with significant variation across region
Severe shocks: weak commodity prices, tight external financing, drought
Urgent need to reset policies to secure growth

After a prolonged period of strong economic growth, sub-Saharan Africa is set to experience a second difficult year as the region is hit by multiple shocks, the IMF said in its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa

The steep decline in commodity prices and tighter financing conditions have put many large economies under severe strain, and the new report calls for a stronger policy response to counter the effect of these shocks and secure the region’s growth potential.

The report shows growth fell to 3½ percent in 2015, the lowest level in 15 years. Growth this year is expected to slow further to 3 percent, well below the 6 percent average over the last decade, and barely above population growth.

Hit by several shocks
The commodity price slump has hit many of the largest sub-Saharan African economies hard. While oil prices have recovered somewhat compared to the beginning of the year, they are still more than 60 percent below 2013 peak levels—a shock of unprecedented magnitude.

Monique Newiak
IMF African Department