The Angolan economy should post 3.5 percent growth in the 2015/2016 two-year period, said Ricardo Veloso, coordinator of the International Monetary Fund mission that was in Angola for two weeks.
Veloso stated on Tuesday in Luanda that the Angolan government had not made any request for financial assistance, adding that “when or if there is a request” the IMF administration is ready to study the issue.
“If there is an application of that nature,” the IMF will meet with Angolan authorities and examine that request, since it has every interest in ensuring that the Angolan economy continues its growth and development process,” he said.
Veloso recalled that the Angolan economy has been strongly impacted by the sharp drop in oil prices in 2014 and 2015, although the comfortable level of foreign reserves has enabled the economy to support consequences of the downturn better than in 2008 and 2009, when Angola had to seek an IMF loan.
The IMF’s forecasted growth of the Angolan economy this year is based on an average oil-barrel price of US$53, with 6.8 percent growth of the oil sector and 2.1 percent growth of the non-oil sector.
In 2016 overall growth is forecast to be the same as this year’s (3.5 percent), sustained by the same oil-barrel price (US$53). Oil sector growth will fall to 3.9 percent while non-oil sector growth will rise to 3.4 percent, both figures compared to 2015.
The IMF nevertheless stresses that because oil accounts for more than 95 percent of exports and nearly 75 percent of tax revenue, recent changes underscore the important need to encourage diversification of the economy, preserving macroeconomic stability and promoting an ambitious structural reform agenda.
The financial organisation also forecasts a sharp increase in public debt in 2015, to nearly 57 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), with 14 percent of GDP corresponding to the state-owned oil company Sonangol. (Macauhub/AO)