Macro Forum: The Street View
COTE D'IVOIRE MACRO INSIGHTS
Côte d’Ivoire was one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with an average growth rate of 8.9% between 2012 and 2017. Latest GDP growth numbers indicate that the economy grew 6.2% year-on-year in Q2 2018 up from 3.6% in Q1. The primary and secondary sectors were the main drivers of growth expanding by 6.8% and 7.6% respectively. The primary sector was driven a 9.5% year-on-year rise in agricultural exports in Q2. Agri-processing, construction and manufacturing all showed strong activity with year-on-year growth of 9.6%, 15.7% and 10.3% respectively. The tertiary sector, although still contributing positively to overall growth saw contractions in the commerce and telecommunications sectors. GDP is estimated at 7.2% in 2018 and is forecast at 7% in 2019.
Inflation increased by 1% year-on-year in December 2018, lower than November’s 1.8% clip. Price increases in clothing and footwear, housing, utilities and transport were offset by subdued trends in food, communication and restaurants . Inflation has been relatively low for most of 2018 due to subdued food prices on the back of good crop production for the year, with only November and December inflation above average. Whilst the inflation outlook is still good, however, it will trend higher due to base effects, offset by government’s efforts in the agriculture sector to increase food production thereby capping any price pressure. An increase in consumer spending can be expected on the back of lower inflation. Inflation is expected to average 0.4% in 2018 before increasing to 1.4% in 2019.
The fiscal deficit is expected to narrow from 4.5% to 3.8% of GDP in 2018 . This remains above the WAEMU’s target of 3% of GDP. The government has made efforts to lower the fiscal deficit, however, challenges include high public debt and wage expectations of civil servants. The current account deficit is expected to widen on the other hand. The main driver behind this widening is the increase in imports in the effort to develop the infrastructure to increase agri-processing capacity and further develop the mining sector.
With strong economic growth and efforts to grow infrastructure and encourage investment, FDI has shown a strong trend. According to the World Investment Report 2018, FDI increased by 14.2% in 2016 and by 18.3% in 2017.
Since Q3, the franc EUR rate has deteriorated due to developments in the US and Eurozone which has favoured the USD.
Former president Laurent Gbagbo was acquitted by the ICC, although the prosecution is appealing the decision and he is still being held. It is uncertain if the former president will return to Cote d’Ivoire upon his release given that he was sentenced to jail in absentia, however, he may well still play a role in Ivorian politics in the future, wherever he is. President Alassane Quattara js not supposed to run again in the 2020 elections, however, commentators are of the opinion that he will renege on this, with his decision driven by the possible release of former President Gbagbo.
Real GDP Growth
Cote dIvoire FX vs FV
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