Senegal: Economy stuttering, but no slump ahead

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

Senegal’s GDP per capita grew by +17% between 2013 and 2018. The stability of growth was exceptional from 2014 to 2017, with the highest and the most stable expansion period of the last four decades, based on the implementation of the Emerging Senegal Plan. However, growth decreased markedly in 2018 against the backdrop of rising oil prices. As a result, GDP growth in 2018 (+4.5%) was the weakest compared to the previous three years. The manufacturing sector was particularly hit, with a -0.8% y/y performance in Q3 2018. Among other achieve­ments, youth unemployment steadily decreased during the last years to just 5% of the population. However, the model is still vulnerable to a shift in general conditions since the current account deficit amounts to -8% of GDP. Despite the progress made, Senegal is still a low income economy. Its GDP per capita accounts for just 7% of the corresponding figure in an advanced economy. Hence, income shocks such as in 2018 have significant conse­quences on consumer confidence. In 2019, we expect GDP growth to re-accelerate to +6%.