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Country Report Algeria October 2017

Country Report Algeria October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 359657
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit


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Outlook for 2018-22

  • Concerns about the health of the president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and his ability to remain in power, along with jostling among regime elites over who will eventually succeed him, will weaken political stability.
  • The underlying threat to security from militant Islamism will persist during the forecast period, exacerbated by porous borders and turmoil in neigh-bouring Libya and Mali.
  • The government will seek to diversify the economy away from oil and gas by developing other industries, but with little success. The private sector will stay relatively small because of the difficult business climate.
  • The fiscal deficit will widen in 2018-19, reflecting higher spending ahead of the election in 2019, when it will peak at 11.1% of GDP. It will moderate there-after but will remain large, at 8% of GDP in 2022. Public debt will rise sharply.
  • Real GDP growth will remain weak, averaging 2.2% a year in 2018-22 as low energy prices hamper public consumption and investment. Rising gas and manufacturing output will be the main factors supporting growth.
  • Following relative currency stability in 2017, we expect the dinar to resume its long-running trend of depreciation in 2018-22. The currency is forecast to end 2022 at AD127.3:US$1.
  • The current-account deficit will narrow moderately, from an estimated 13% of GDP in 2017 to 11.1% of GDP in 2022. Foreign reserves will fall sharply as a result, although import cover (at six months in 2022) will remain comfortable.


  • There have been calls from several public figures for Mr Bouteflika to step down. These may be designed to pressure the president into refraining from seeking a fifth term in office.
  • On October 4th the cabinet approved the draft budget for 2018. Although the authorities are projecting a sharp increase in capital expenditure, they are also expecting the deficit to fall.
  • Banque d'Algérie (the central bank) is preparing to introduce new regulations relating to imports. The government's stated aim is to improve efficiency, but the ultimate objective is likely to be a reduction in the import bill.
  • Real GDP growth slowed sharply, from 3.4% year on year in the first quarter to 1.5% year on year in the second quarter, according to data from the national statistics agency. This was driven by falling hydrocarbons output.

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