(Bloomberg) -- Angola’s government expects economic growth to pick up this year as inflation slows closer to its target, Finance Minister Archer Mangueira said.
Mangueira said in an interview he expects the economy to expand 2.1 percent in 2017 after an increase of just 0.1 percent or 0.6 percent in 2016, adding that last year’s data are still unconfirmed. That would exceed forecasts published this week by the International Monetary Fund, which projects gross domestic product growth of 1.3 percent in 2017.
Inflation will ease closer to the target of 15.8 percent after closing 2016 above 40 percent, Mangueira said in Washington, where finance ministers from around the world are attending meetings at the IMF and World Bank. “Right now we’re relatively far” from the inflation target, he said, adding that it is“is already trending down compared with 2016.”
As a result, the government isn’t ready for another devaluation of the kwanza, which would increase the cost of imports and strain household finances, he said. “This process needs to be done with some care,” he said, adding that “we’re a country that imports a big portion of its goods.”
The OPEC-member country is recovering from a decline in oil prices that took a toll on fiscal revenue and exports. Mangueira, who succeeded Armando Manuel last year, said his economic priorities include controlling inflation, diversifying sources of state financing, promoting exports and improving the country’s financial system.