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Country Forecast Angola October 2017 Updater

Country Forecast Angola October 2017 Updater

  • October 2017
  • ID: 325612
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

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  • The new president, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, has repeatedly pledged to tackle corruption, but there is unlikely to be a rapid change in policymaking direction, in part because of resistance by vested interests. Equally, his predecessor-the long-standing head of state, José Eduardo dos Santos-will seek to exert continued control via family members whom he has appointed to influential posts, such as head of the national oil company, Sonangol.
  • Opposition parties will seek to use their enhanced parliamentary presence to hold the government to account and to increase their profile with the electorate. However, the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) is likely to maintain its political dominance by virtue of its control of government resources and the loyalty of the security forces, and is well placed to win another (albeit smaller) majority at the next poll, in 2022.
  • Political pressure will rise as the government is forced to pursue tighter fiscal policies, because of oil prices that remain well below 2011-14 levels, bringing the risk of increased social tensions. To avoid stoking further public discontent, the government will seek to balance austerity measures with moves such as a rise in the minimum wage, public-sector pay increases and actions to protect the local jobs market. The fiscal balance is likely to remain in deficit throughout the forecast period.
  • Ongoing hydrocarbons investment will provide a modest boost to overall oil output and support real GDP growth, but given relatively low oil prices, we forecast that growth will average just 2.6% a year in 2018-22.
  • Inflationary pressures will remain substantial, notwithstanding the introduction of some price controls and planned moves to cut import duties. However, after substantially elevated inflation in 2016-17, a cautious monetary policy stance by the central bank should help to keep the average annual inflation rate on a downward trend in 2017-21, although the rate is likely to remain in double digits until 2020.
  • Notwithstanding the boost to reserves provided by continued international loans, the kwanza will remain under pressure in the low oil price environment. The gap between the official and parallel-market rates will continue to moderate but is likely to remain substantial.
  • The current-account balance will remain in deficit throughout the forecast period, reflecting oil price trends and substantial deficits on the services and income accounts.


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