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Country Report Angola October 2017

Country Report Angola October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 325782
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

Summary

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Outlook for 2018-22



  • Notwithstanding a reduced presence in parliament following the August election, the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) will continue to control all aspects of power.
  • The new president, João Lourenço, will seek to impose his authority but his predecessor, José Eduardo dos Santos, is likely to seek to retain influence, notably via family members.
  • Given only minor efforts to diversify the economy, real GDP growth will continue to be driven largely by trends in the hydrocarbons sector. We expect growth to average just 2.6% in 2018-22, compared with 4.7% in 2011-15.
  • Although annual average inflation is likely to moderate from its 2016 highs, ongoing currency devaluation means that it will remain elevated; after averaging almost 30% in 2017, the headline rate will fall to 9.3% in 2022.
  • The pace of deprecation of the official kwanza:dollar exchange rate will ease from its 2015-16 levels as oil prices pick up. Nonetheless, the gap with the black-market rate will remain substantial amid shortages of the US dollar.
  • We expect the current account to remain in deficit in 2018-22. The deficit will largely follow oil price trends and will average 7.2% of GDP.


Review



  • Angola's new president, João Lourenço, appointed his new cabinet in October. He reduced the number of ministries, in line with his election pledge to create a more lean and efficient administration.
  • Opposition parties have decided to take their parliamentary seats, having earlier threatened a boycott. The decision has split opposition supporters, but a boycott of parliament would have given the MPLA free rein.
  • Isaías Samakuva, the long-standing head of the main opposition party, UNITA, announced in September that he would stand down. UNITA has lost three successive elections under Mr Samakuva's leadership.
  • New government data put the national unemployment rate at 20%, although joblessness is much higher among young people. This could lead to social tensions if not addressed.
  • Gold exploration licences were granted for two concessions in Cabinda in mid-October. Angola's gold sector has significant potential, but informal mining is likely to continue to dominate.
  • The state oil company, Sonangol, has reshuffled its management board, appointing three new administrators, but Isabel dos Santos-the daughter of the former president-remains head of the parastatal.


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