Johannesburg: Angola's economy should grow 4.0 percent this year, central bank governor Jose de Lima Massano said on Wednesday, undercutting the government's growth projections. In a state of the union speech in October, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said the economy was expected to grow at 4.5 percent this year, sharply lower than a previous forecast of 9.7 percent.
Both estimates are much higher than those of the International Monetary Fund, which sees the oil-rich southern African nation's GDP rising by 2.5 percent this year.
In a speech posted on the central bank's website, Massano said the economy would be supported by 5.7 percent growth in the non-oil sector. However, he said next year would be "demanding and intense" as Angola continued to feel the effects of the sluggish recovery in developed economies.
Angola is second to Nigeria as Africa's largest oil producer but an admission by dos Santos in July that the country owed $9 billion to foreign construction firms has clouded its prospects.
Inflation slowed to 13.44 percent year-on-year in November, from 16.08 percent in October, while the central bank's dollar reserves rose by 27 percent from last year to $15.8 billion, compared, Massano said.