April 1, 2005

Positive economic figures as IMF considers next move

Angola has revealed a strong economic performance for 2004, with inflation down to 31 percent and growth up to 12 percent. These aggregate figures do not in themselves point to a reduction in poverty or a decrease in inequality, but they do provide benchmarks for international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, on whom the country must rely for dealing with its large external debt. Although relations between Angola and the IMF are reported to have cooled over recent months, the company World Markets Analysis reported on 15 March that the "IMF Africa Director Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané has downplayed the recent spat between the IMF and the Angolan government, stating that the IMF did not see any major issue that was preventing the agreement on a staff-monitored programme (SMP)". The article continued that "an IMF team is on its way to Angola to discuss the conditions of the adjustment programme". The inflation rate of 31.01 percent is less than half of the 76.6 percent recorded in 2003. In 2003 GDP grew by only 4.7 percent. Whilst much of the economic growth was due to a 14 percent growth in the oil sector, there was still a 9.1 percent growth in the other sectors of the economy. In the agricultural sector a growth rate of 14.1 percent was recorded. The construction sector registered growth at 14 percent. (Angola Peace Monitor, ACTSA, London)

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