– We believe that the economic cycle in Sub-Saharan Africa is turning; after slowing since 2014, growth will accelerate this year. This turnaround will be driven by both global and local factors. The big falls in commodity prices are probably behind us, which will remove a key headwind that has slowed growth in recent years.
We expect that the pace of currency depreciation will ease, causing inflation to decline in most economies. This will allow central banks to loosen policy, providing a boost to domestic demand. And agricultural output will also recover in most places – particularly in Ethiopia and in South Africa.
Indeed, this is a key reason why we hold an above-consensus view on growth in South Africa. Kenya is the only large African economy where we expect that growth will slow. This is, in short, our most optimistic Outlook in several years. Even so, we expect that growth will remain weaker than it was during the “Africa Rising” decade from 2004 to 2014.