Central African Sub-region : BEAC Revises 2019 Economic Growth Rate
Initially projected at 3.2 per cent, the Money Policy Committee at the end of its second ordinary session in N’Djamena on July 24, 2019 said 3 per cent is foreseeable for the current fiscal year.
All things being equal, the economy of the Central African Monetary and Economic Community, CEMAC, will at the end of 2019 register a growth rate of 3 per cent, up from 1.6 per cent in 2018. The projected improvement, the Governor of the Bank of Central African States, BEAC, Abbas Mahamat Tolli said, is as a result of a slight improvement on the economic performance of the sub-region in the face of the global economic shocks. Especially the sharp fall for years now of the prices of commodity products on the global market like crude oil, which is one of the main exports of CEMAC nations. The new projection is a revision of the initial one which foresaw a 3.2 per cent for the sub-region in 2019.
The BEAC Governor made the disclosure to the press in N’Djamena Wednesday July 24, 2019 at the end of the second ordinary session of the Monetary Policy Committee of the sub-regional body. As usual, the conclave was to examine the health of global and sub-regional economies. Giving details on the reasons why CEMAC should hope for a better economic performance in 2019 than 2018, Mr Tolli underlined that the primary and tertiary sectors are showing signs of rebound. Agriculture, extractive industries and information and communication technology, he said, are drivers of the growth at moment.
The Monetary Policy Committee at term, going by the press release, also projected an increase in inflation of 2.5 per cent as against 2.1 last year; and a widening decrease in trade balance owing to an increase in imports of the oil sector. Abbas Mahamat Tolli disclosed that looking at the macroeconomic prospects of the sub region and after a careful in-depth analysis of the functioning of the monetary market and the risk factors hanging on the stability of the currency, the Monetary Policy Committee unanimously arrived at far-reaching conclusions.
To leave untouched the interest rate on tenders at 3.5 per cent, marginal lending rate at 6 per cent, deposit facility rate at zero per cent, penalty rate for banks at 8.3 per cent and the obligatory reserve coefficient at 7 per cent as well as the cash and term deposits at 4.5 per cent. Talking about the fusion of the two stock exchange markets in the sub-region which already went fully operational, the BEAC Governor saluted the path already covered.
Stakeholders, he added, are working to redynamise the structure with the help of development partners so that many other companies can integrate. He rejoiced over the fact that most States are increasingly using local banks to raise money to oil their development machines. Coupled with reforms on public finance management, the BEAC Governor expressed hope that the Central African sub-region can journey out of the murky economic waters, provided the efforts are sustained.