Algeria: Likely stagnation

5 min
Stéphane Colliac
Stéphane Colliac Senior Economist for France and Africa

GDP growth has likely remained muted in H1, indicated by some contracting advanced indicators such as imports (-3.4% y/y in January-April). Moreover, the government announced the end of the unconventional monetary policy implemented between November 2017 and January 2019. Total Central Bank financing has reached 30% of GDP (government figures). Half of it was injected into the economy and drove strong credit growth. Yet, the impact on the economy was muted as Algeria experienced about 0% GDP per capita growth during that period. A recent revision of debt ratios showed that Central Bank financing has driven up the public debt to GDP ratio to 37% in 2018 (from 9% in 2015), and a new high of 47% is expected in 2019. Moreover, a decrease in oil-related fiscal revenues (-20% y/y in Q1 2019) is the main reason for a new drop in public investment (-28%). Hence, the gas output depletion should not recede. In 2019, we expect the slowest GDP growth (+1.2%) since 1997.