News / Economy

IMF Sees Continued Growth for China, Sub-Saharan Africa

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Asia Pacific Director Anoop Singh, October 2009. (File)
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Asia Pacific Director Anoop Singh, October 2009. (File)
The Eurozone crisis continues to weigh heavily on the global economy. But there are relative bright spots, such as China and sub-Saharan Africa, as reported at the annual joint meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Tokyo.

The IMF predicts China's growth will return to above eight percent next year.

The IMF's Asia-Pacific region director, Anoop Singh, acknowledges there are concerns China's real estate bubble could burst and water down such growth.

"Obviously that is a downside risk. But our sense is that is a remote possibility. China is not having a hard landing," said Singh.

The troubles in single-currency Europe are hurting demand for exports from China and India, as well as other countries in the Asia region.

Overall, growth in Asia is expected to be 5.9 percent next year, down from an earlier IMF forecast of 6.6 percent. But that is still high enough for Asia's economy to remain the world's fastest growing.

Another region, known more for its poverty than robust economic growth, is also enjoying a brighter outlook. It is sub-Saharan Africa, where the IMF reports the near-term outlook  “remains broadly positive” with growth projected above five percent over the next year.

It would be at least one percent higher if not for the shock from the Eurozone, says the director of the IMF's Africa department, Antoinette Monsio Sayeh.

“International commodity prices have remained relatively strong to date providing, of course, support for natural resource exporters in the region," she said. "And, secondly, domestic demand has provided solid support to growth, helped by both public and private investments. And private investments have been linked to the natural resource production in the region which has been expanding in a number of countries."

But Sayeh warns rising food prices pose a serious threat in some countries, such as Malawi, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

Nigerian development economist Edith Jibunoh, a director at the advocacy group One (co-founded by the rock star Bono), says sub-Saharan Africa's growth is not inclusive and a lot of people are getting left behind.

"So when you disaggregate the numbers you start to see some very disheartening situations," she said. "Infrastructure deficits on the continent are still humongous. There's not even a third of the amount of money that needs to be invested in infrastructure getting spent on an annual basis."

That gap every year, Jibunoh says, totals $40 billion.

The IMF, meanwhile, is suggesting African policy makers reduce national budgets, especially household subsidies for fuel and electricity, and use that money to help sustain growth amid the international economic slowdown.

Benno Ndulu, governor of the Bank of Tanzania,  says the 45-nation region can buffer itself from a recession caused by the second-wave of the Euro shock by building inter-regional trade.

Ndulu also is floating another idea he acknowledges is controversial.

“Let's still look at the possibility of reserve pooling options to exploit the differences in the exposure to risks across our countries," said Ndulu. "Not all of us suffer the same type of risks. Not all commodities suffer price declines at the same time. And we should  be able, I think, to pool risks. It takes probably very strong political decisions to get to that stage."

The region's largest nation, South Africa, which is more integrated with the global economy than its neighbors, is forecast to experience growth of just 1.6 percent next year. The nation is struggling with labor unrest and high unemployment.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8930
JPY
USD
117.98
GBP
USD
0.6673
CAD
USD
1.2445
INR
USD
61.498

Rates may not be current.