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Africa on solid growth course in 2014, risks remain

Xinhua | Updated: 2014-04-07 23:25

WASHINGTON - The economic outlook for Sub- Saharan Africa remains robust, but growth is vulnerable to lower commodity prices and a slowdown in capital flows, the World Bank said in a report on Monday.

In its latest update of Africa's economic prospects, the World Bank said economic activity was robust in much of Sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, supported by strong domestic demand -- notably investment growth.

The economic growth will continue to rise from 4.7 percent in 2013 to 5.2 percent in 2014, though with "considerable variation across countries," it said.

Domestic demand, underpinned by investment in natural resources and infrastructure and household consumption, will continue to drive growth in most countries in the region, showed the report titled "Africa's Pulse."

The Washington-based institution cautioned that growth in Sub- Saharan Africa, though expected to remain stronger than in many other developing countries worldwide, would be subject to a number of important risks, such as a sharper decline in commodity prices, locally volatile food prices, and political uncertainty.

"With global financial conditions tightening, short-term capital inflows have declined significantly, suggesting changing investor sentiment toward the region," the report said, predicting that as the US Federal Reserve continues to taper its asset purchases and financial conditions in the United States and other developed countries tighten, capital inflows are projected to fall in the region in 2014.

"Developments since the beginning of 2014, and the global financial turbulence of May-August 2013, have underscored the need for reforms to reduce fiscal and external imbalances," the World Bank said.

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