The Bank Of Central African States BEAC, says rise in oil prices will stabilise CEMAC economies in the second quarter of 2022. The Monetary Policy Committe MPC of BEAC eventually attests to a possible growth to pick up within the region in 2022.
The Committee forecasts growth to reach 3.1% of GDP this year, up 1.7 percentage points compared to the 1.4% of GDP in 2021.This improvement, MPC says, will be driven “mainly by the rebound in oil growth” following an increase in oil prices on the global market.
According to data presented to the Prime Minister last March 18 by the Cameroonian employers’ grouping GICAM, the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil on the international market rose from $51 to $91 (+78%) between January 2021 and January 2022 and reached $139 per barrel in March 2022 as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. This is the highest level since the 2008 crisis.
It is worth recalling that CEMAC countries are pre-dominantly oil exporters, and are always affected positively or negatively when oil prices in the international market fluctuate.
According to BEAC, in its recent economic report for the region,this hope is coming to the sub region despite a gloomy international atmosphere. The BEAC’s businness survey indicates that this improvement forecast comes at a time when inflationis growingin the region.
It also cites the global environment shaken by the Russia-Ukrain war saying it has further increased the cost of raw materials and freight on the international market.
The central bank projects inflation in the CEMAC region at 3.6% in 2022.This is 0.6 points above the tolarence threshold accpted within the region.
BEAC also revealed that the forecast survey was carried out among economic operators, stressing that this optimism is based primarily on favorable oil price, combined with private demand benefiting from easing of COVID-19 restrictions as well as public demand supporting domestic activity.
Oil accounts for more than 50% (or even more) of government revenues in countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, and Chad. The Central African Republic is currently the only non-oil exporting country in the CEMAC zone.