Angola’s government expects economic growth to pick up this year as inflation slows closer to its target.
The Finance Minister Archer Mangueira said he expects the economy to expand 2.1 percent in 2017 after an increase of just 0.1 percent or 0.6 percent in 2016.
He added that last year’s data was still unconfirmed.
The data would exceed forecasts published this week by the International Monetary Fund, which projects gross domestic product growth of 1.3 percent in 2017.
Inflation will ease closer to the target of 15.8 percent after closing 2016 above 40 percent, the minister said in Washington, where finance ministers from around the world are attending meetings at the IMF and World Bank.
According to him, the country right now is relatively far” from the inflation target, adding that it is already trending down compared with 2016.”
He noted that as a result of this, the government is not ready for another devaluation of the currency kwanza, which would increase the cost of imports and strain household finances.
“This process needs to be done with some care,” he said, adding that “we’re a country that imports a big portion of its goods,”
However, OPEC member countries are recovering from a decline in oil prices that took a toll on fiscal revenue and exports.
Mangueira, who succeeded Armando Manuel last year, explained that his economic priorities include controlling inflation, diversifying sources of state financing, promoting exports and improving the country’s financial system.