Luanda, Angola, 2 Feb – Angola’s economy should grow 7.5 percent this year, after a sharp downturn led to an estimated rise of not more than 0.5 percent in 2009, the World Bank has indicated.
Africa’s top oil producer saw revenues drop off in 2009 due to tumbling crude oil prices on international markets. This led to a 30 percent drop in exterior reserves which in turn caused the kwanza currency to lose 25 percent of its value compared to the US dollar.
Last May the World Bank forecast that the Angolan economy would contract by 3 percent in 2009. However, the report released on Monday estimates that growth in the meantime was between minus 0.5 percent and plus 0.5 percent.
The World Bank’s head economist in Angola, Ricardo Gazel, said oil production should rise this year to 1.9 million barrels from the 1.79 million barrel figure for 2009.
“Economic prospects are substantially better this year. Real growth of gross domestic product should be between 6.5 and 7.5 percent, depending on final performance figures for the non-oil sector,” Gazel states in the report.
The report nevertheless warns that the inflation rate reached 13.99 percent in 2009, recording growth for the second straight year. (macauhub)