Congo Republic: Hidden debt darkens the outlook

​General overview


The Republic of Congo is still affected by the oil price slump. The country is saddled with a heavy debt burden, the result of an effort to secure oil exports and allow a high level of public spending ahead of July 2017 legislative elections despite the impact of low oil prices on fiscal revenues.


Debt and deficits skyrocketed. Current account plunged to -43% of GDP and the fiscal balance tumbled to -18.6% in 2015. An IMF mission uncovered hidden public debt contributing to send the figure up from 38% of GDP in 2013 to 117% in 2017. As the current account deficit is still quite high, the country will need fresh financing. The local economy is exposed to financing shortages and runs the risk of a ‘sudden stop’ and a sharp recession.