Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/21/2014 -- We predict that Cote d'Ivoire will be among the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2014 and we expect this strong growth momentum to be maintained over the medium term. This positive outlook is underpinned by a combination of sustained strong levels of development spending by the Ivorian government, intensifying foreign investment into new industries, stable inflation and rising consumer spending levels.
Despite the more conciliatory rhetoric espoused by the Ivorian government and the Front Populaire Ivoirien, the main opposition party, in late 2013, recent developments reinforce our view that meaningful political rapprochement in Cote d'Ivoire will remain elusive over the near term at least.
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A rapidly expanding economy, improvements to revenue collection, and prudent recurrent spending plans will allow the Ivorian government to keep capital spending levels high without jeopardising fiscal stability. We forecast a fiscal deficit worth 3.2% of GDP in 2014 and 2.6% in 2015.
Major Forecast Changes
Recently published IMF data containing revisions to Cote d'Ivoire's historical budget data have prompted some modest adjustments to our fiscal forecasts. We are now forecasting a budget deficit worth 3.2% of GDP in 2014 and 2.6% in 2015 (compared to 2.8% and 2.6% respectively before).
Key Risks To Outlook
Our broad outlook is dependent on the maintenance of a stable political situation that allows for significant levels of foreign investment and the implementation of the government's reform and development plans. Such stability is not a certainty, however, and for this reason ethnic and political tensions pose the key risk to the country's economic prospects.
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