LUANDA, Angola, March 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — On March 5, 2014, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Second Post-Program Monitoring with Angola.
Macroeconomic performance in 2013 reflected a marginal increase in oil production and a moderation of non-oil growth compared to previous years’ growth rates. Overall real GDP growth is estimated to have decelerated to 4.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in 2012. Growth in the non-oil sector was held down by the agricultural sector’s slow recovery from the drought that affected large parts of the country in 2012, but is still expected to have reached 5.8 percent in 2013 due to government spending bolstering performance in the construction and power sectors. Inflation, after reaching single digits for the first time in decades at end-2012, declined to 7.7 percent by end-2013, comfortably below the authorities’ 9 percent target. The favorable inflation performance allowed the Monetary Policy Committee of the National Bank of Angola (BNA) to reduce its policy rate by 100 basis points cumulatively throughout 2013, a bit less than the decline in inflation. Gross international reserves stood at US$33.2 billion at end-December 2013, the equivalent of about 7 months of projected 2014 imports.2
Preliminary fiscal data indicate that Angola returned to a fiscal deficit for the first time since 2009, reflecting a sharp decline in oil revenue, while non-oil revenue and investment expenditure fell short of their targets. The fiscal surplus, which had reached 5.1 percent of GDP in 2012, is expected to have turned to a deficit of about 1