Sub-Saharan Africa economic growth to pick-up next year

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Nigeria and South Africa are expected to lift sub-Saharan regional growth next year, a Reuters poll showed, once their central banks cut rates to boost Africa’s largest – but sickly – economies.

The two economies contribute more than half of sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product and the poll taken in the past three days showed Nigeria’s economy, Africa’s biggest, will grow 2.4 percent in 2018, up from 0.8 percent this year. It has been in recession since late 2015.

South Africa, the continent’s most industrialized economy, is expected to grow 1.2 percent in 2018 compared to 0.7 percent this year.

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Economists suggested both countries will probably wait until January or March to cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 6.50 percent in South Africa and by the same margin to 13.75 percent in Nigeria.

“South Africa and Nigeria are the region’s largest two economies and, at present, the largest drawback on the SSA growth performance,” said Christie Viljoen, economist at KPMG.

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