The Bank of Central African States (BEAC) has confirmed the sub-region has been facing an economic slowdown during the last three years and said growth will decline this year.
The region recorded a growth of 2.8% last year compared to 4.8% in 2013. For 2016 year, the common central bank in the six states of the sub-region projects a growth of 2%.
The bank draws membership from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo.
This downward trend over three consecutive years confirms the fragile nature of the economies in the subregion due to “external shocks.”
The sharp fall in oil prices largely explains this continuous decline in growth. With the exception of Cameroon which has a relatively diversified economy and the Central African Republic (CAR), oil is the main source of foreign exchange for the other four states.
But the oil price slump does not explain everything. The cost of the war against Boko Haram has weighed enormously on the treasuries of Chad and Cameroon.
Slowing domestic growth has also hampered growth in the CEMAC zone. The decline in consumption is associated with deterioration of other economic indicators.
BEAC projects a slight increase in inflation this year from 2.3 to 2.7%.