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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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
0.8845
JPY
USD
117.71
GBP
USD
0.6643
CAD
USD
1.2669
INR
USD
62.019

Rates may not be current.