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Equatorial Guinea’s outlook worsens due to epidemics and explosions, the IMF says. – SABC News

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday that Equatorial Guinea’s ailing economy had been damaged by the pandemic and a series of deadly dynamite explosions in 2021.

The former Spanish colony, located on the west coast of Central Africa, suffered a doubling economic shock in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak and falling oil prices, which provide about three-quarters of the country’s revenue.

In March 2021, careless handling of dynamite stored at a military base caused a series of explosions in the coastal city of Bata, killing more than 100 and injuring hundreds.

In a statement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that non-hydrocarbon GDP would increase by 1.3% in 2021, while real GDP would decrease by 3.5% due to the decrease in COVID-19 cases and easing of lockdowns.

He added that the country had already suffered seven consecutive economic downturns before the pandemic.

Although real GDP is expected to grow around 6% in 2022 due to lower-than-expected gas production in the previous year and the start of reconstruction in Bata, the long-term outlook remains bleak.

The IMF expects hydrocarbon production to decline in the medium term as key oil fields mature and exploration investment slows.

The global rise in food and fertilizer prices has the potential to impact food security and fuel inflation among already vulnerable populations.

Despite Equatorial Guinea’s vast oil reserves, most of its 1.2 million people live in poverty.

The government sought to recover from the aftermath of the epidemic and the Bata explosion by spending more on the health sector, reducing non-priority spending, and providing temporary tax cuts to the private sector.

Equatorial Guinea’s outlook worsens due to epidemics and explosions, the IMF says. – SABC News

Source link Equatorial Guinea’s outlook worsens due to epidemics and explosions, the IMF says. – SABC News

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