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S’Africa to topple Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy in 2024 – IMF

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S'Africa to topple Nigeria as Africa's biggest economy in 2024 - IMF

South Africa is poised to briefly overtake Nigeria and Egypt as Africa’s largest economy next year.

This is according to forecast of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook envisions South Africa’s gross domestic product reaching $401 billion based on current prices in 2024, compared with Nigeria’s $395 billion and Egypt’s $358 billion.

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South Africa, which is the continent’s most industrialised nation is expected to only hold the top spot for a year before it once again lags Nigeria, and then fall to third place behind Egypt in 2026, according to the report, which was released last week.

While IMF data shows Nigeria’s economy has eclipsed South Africa’s since 2018, its fortunes have dimmed along with a decline in production of oil and it has been grappling with runaway inflation and a plunge in the value of the naira.

Bola Tinubu has announced significant policy changes aimed at getting the state’s finances back on track since he became president of the West African nation at the end of May, including revamping the foreign-exchange system, scrapping costly gasoline subsidies and taking steps to address dollar shortages and boost tax revenue.

Bloomberg reports that those measures are causing initial pain in Africa’s most populous nation, but are expected to increasingly pay dividends going forward. The IMF sees GDP expanding 3.1% next year, compared with 2.9% in 2023.

The reforms should lead to “stronger and more inclusive growth,” Daniel Leigh, division chief in the IMF’s research department, told reporters at the fund’s annual meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, last we

 

 

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