JOHANNESBURG: The World Bank said on Tuesday, in its January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report, that global economic growth was forecast to accelerate moderately to 2.7 percent. Sub-Saharan African growth was expected to pick up modestly to 2.9 percent this year as the region continued to adjust to lower commodity prices, according to the report. The SA Reserve Bank and National Treasury predicted growth of just more than 1 percent for South Africa this year.
President Jacob Zuma’s forecast of a 2.9 percent economic growth rate for this year at the ANC’s 105th birthday celebrations on Sunday has been rubbished by economists. Nigeria is forecast by the World Bank to rebound from recession and grow at a 1 percent rate, while Angola is projected at 1.2 percent. Growth in advanced economies is expected to edge up to 1.8 percent this year. Fiscal stimulus in major economies “particularly in the US” could generate faster domestic and global growth than projected, although rising trade protection could have adverse effects, said the report.
Growth in emerging market and developing economies should pick up to 4.2 percent this year from 3.4 percent in the year just ended amid modestly rising commodity prices, it noted. Nevertheless, said the World Bank, the outlook was clouded by uncertainty about policy direction in major economies. A protracted period of uncertainty could prolong the slow growth in investment that was holding back low-, middle-, and high-income countries.