The World Bank has cut its growth forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa this year to two-point-eight per cent from an initial three-point-three per cent.
In its latest report on the regional economy issued today, the bank said that the commodity price slump of 2015 cut short a decade of rapid growth for the region, and growth would take longer to recover as a decline in industrial production and a trade dispute between China and the United States take their toll.
The bank’s 2019 forecast means economic growth will lag population growth for the fourth year in a row and it will remain stuck below three per cent, which it slipped to in 2015. The bank also cut its 2018 growth estimate to 2.3 per cent from last October’s prediction of 2.7 per cent growth for last year.
The World Bank said Nigeria’s economy grew by an estimated 1.9 per cent last year, up from 0.8 per cent the previous year, reflecting a modest pick-up in the non-oil sector.
Albert Zeufack, the chief economist for Africa at the bank, said the region could boost annual growth by about nearly two percentage points if it harnesses information technology more effectively.