The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just published the May 2011 Regional Economic Outlook, “Sub-Saharan Africa: Recovery and New Risks”. The report states that Sub-Saharan Africa’s recovery from the crisis-induced slowdown is well under way, although among country groups there is variation in the speed of the recovery.
In most of the region’s low-income countries and among the seven oil exporters, growth is almost back to pre-crisis levels. However, in the region’s middle-income countries, including South Africa, the recovery has been more gradual. The region’s progress toward the poverty reduction Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), meanwhile, has been delayed by rising unemployment and the impact of the 2008 spike in food and fuel prices.
Policy adjustments are needed to move away from the supportive stance of the last few years but should be balanced against the need to alleviate the impact of rising food prices on poor households.
The report is available online.