2012年6月19日星期二

African laughter of the Great Depression: Times of Change | Economic Observer

The global economic recession, Sub-Saharan Africa were usually seriously affected, but in the current economic crisis unscathed.
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, the world economy has experienced too much confusion. In many advanced economies, output levels are still below pre-crisis, however, the unemployment rate soaring. At the same time, although the growth of emerging economies has slowed, but remained on a very high level.
But in Sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to 2009 - the world of falling output and global trade atrophy lead to Africa's economic growth is reduced to below 3%, the overall growth of the region is still quite strong (about 5%).
Better than the other regions
Of course, the sub-Saharan Africa is not the same, not all economies have the same performance. Compared to most low-income economies in the region, the region's more developed economies (especially South Africa) and the export markets of the developed economies are closely related to, and thus a more severe recession, while the recovery is slower. By civil strife (eg Côte d'Ivoire, now Mali also appeared in the civil strife) and drought-affected countries, their economic growth is much lower than other countries in the region.
Why, then, in the context of such a weak global economy, sub-Saharan Africa most countries able to maintain strong growth? Moreover, we can expect the region remains such a strong growth in the next few years?
First, since the new millennium, the Sub-Saharan Africa's economic situation has occurred a fundamental change. As we released today in Lusaka, Zambia, the latest International Monetary Fund in sub-Saharan African Regional Economic Outlook shows the - the region has to maintain the continued strong economic growth of more than 10 years. The region key to success lies in its stable development of 26 low-income and vulnerable economies and the economic rebound. The per capita income in these countries are still far less than $ 2 a day level, but since 2004, total output growth of over 5% annually. In addition, the output share of investment has been steady growth from 18% in 2004 to 23% now.
Such a strong growth record from several factors, including: significantly reduced domestic conflict, the overall growth of commodity prices to benefit Africa's natural resource-exporting countries, as well as highly indebted poor countries generally exempt debt. However, I will be of critical importance due to African governments the right policy choices - both to find a reasonable macroeconomic policy, but also the implementation of important reform measures.
Specifically, the goal in the last decade, economic policy has been firmly towards economic stability and market liberalization. Inflation is under control, foreign exchange reserves continued to grow, and the debt burden has been reduced. The fast-growing Asian export markets have been discovered. As a result, investment growing - domestic and foreign - the financial sector reforms continue to deepen and continue to strengthen productivity growth.
Second, due to a number of key factors, the Sub-Saharan Africa has the the Great Depression of the adverse cyclical impact of part of the isolation. In a major emerging market economies (especially China) continued strong growth in support of, so far, Africa's natural resource commodity prices remain relatively high. Africa's banking system did not suffer severe financial pressures in developed economies, in large part because African countries do not rely heavily on external financing, but mainly rely on a solid foundation of domestic deposits. Moreover, in this crisis, Africa's policy makers are able to relax the budgetary policy to support economic activity, rather than past economic downturns, due to the severe borrowing restrictions forced to cut spending.
Looking to the future
      In 2011, the Sub-Saharan Africa the average output growth of 5%. In 2012, we expect will be slightly higher, which is due to a temporary surge in production of natural resources as well as West Africa to recover from the turmoil and drought. Looking at 2012, there is reason fully believe that this growth can be sustained.
However, not everything is rosy. Unacceptable levels of poverty and poor social conditions continue to plague the area. Employment growth lags behind most emerging markets, but growth still comes from agriculture and traditional services. Achieve the Millennium Development Goals process is very slow. Of course, the troubled European financial uncertainties remain and geopolitical uncertainties on the oil market, the world economy will continue to deteriorate again. The world economy recover from the downturn will be different to combat Africa's exports, investment, tourism and aid flows - will the slowdown in the pace of regional economic growth in the period of time, but not in the medium to its damage.
Address the risk
What is the new external risks? As explored in depth in the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook, the euro area is more persistent deleveraging is a serious potential worldwide threats, which would stifle the already slow global economic recovery, and In addition will depress commodity prices. However, oil prices rise again due to the increasingly tense political situation also would undermine world economic growth. If these two adverse shocks to become a reality, will bring the inevitable adverse consequences of the Sub-Saharan Africa. Some oil-importing countries in the euro area economic downturn background from lower energy prices to benefit - the oil-exporting countries will benefit in the background of high oil prices - in both cases the full impact of the region will make the economy slower growth, high unemployment, the fiscal accounts and in some cases became tense.
However, the Government will take mitigating measures. Even if the cause reduction in income due to economic slowdown, many countries, if not most countries still maintain the fiscal space of the current government spending plan.
Special fiscal measures - such as cash grants to poor families offset rising food costs and direct food assistance to children in school - will help ease fuel prices, the sharp rise in the impact of the most vulnerable groups . Monetary and exchange rate policy to support some countries have an independent monetary autonomy - In some countries, however, the central bank will need to focus on curbing inflation, the rate of improvement. Can rest assured that yes, the IMF will firmly through financial support to help member countries who are under serious pressure.
At the same time, before the arrival of any storm, economic growth remained strong in the country now seize every opportunity, through prudent fiscal policy to create a policy buffer, it is very important.
Long-term development
Finally, but most importantly, a more long-term future will be how are we doing? Sub-Saharan Africa is how to maintain good economic growth performance? In my opinion, mainly to maintain such a policy line. This means taking prudent macroeconomic policies and further improve the business environment. It also needs to expand the revenue base and to the modernization of public financial management, such expenditures - including infrastructure and public services - the ability to get financial support.
We maintain that the concern for young people and inclusive growth is also very important. In the long run, better education, good health and realistic job opportunities continued prosperity really the only reliable basis.

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