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

In US, Still No Grand Jury Decision in Racially-charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8050
JPY
USD
117.90
GBP
USD
0.6376
CAD
USD
1.1259
INR
USD
61.655

Rates may not be current.