ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Senegal’s economic growth will accelerate to 6 percent next year, boosted by a government development plan, increasing trade with neighbouring Mali and lower oil prices, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast.
Senegal, one of West Africa’s most stable democracies, has secured billions of dollars in donor support for a development plan that aims to diversify the economy beyond fishing, agriculture and tourism, and double growth over the next decade.
“The economic outlook remains favourable with a rate of growth of above 5 percent in 2015 and of 6 percent in 2016,” Ali Mansoor, who headed a recent IMF mission to Senegal, said in a statement released late on Tuesday.
Inflation, which stood at 0.6 percent in August, is expected to remain low, and the government has set a 2016 fiscal deficit target at 4.2 percent of GDP, the fund noted.
“The mission emphasized that doubling and sustaining growth rates at 7 or 8 percent … will require maintaining a sound macroeconomic framework in addition to accelerating the reforms required to promote private investment,” the statement said.
(Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Jussi Rosendahlm, Reuters)