January 7, 2020 / 6:44 PM / 3 months ago

Ethiopia GDP forecast to grow 10.8% in 2019/20 -central bank

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Ethiopia’s economy is expected to grow at a faster pace in its 2019/20 fiscal year from the previous year, helped by improvements in its financial sector, its central bank said.

The economy is expected to expand by 10.8% in the fiscal year to July 8, up from 9% in the previous year, the bank said in its 2018/19 annual report seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

“The economic prospects for 2019/20 are envisaged to be positive despite some down side risks related to export commodity price shocks and temporary inflation pressure,” it said.

The bank said a raft of economic reforms launched recently were expected to lead to a more vibrant financial system.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in 2018, has launched an ambitious economic reform drive aimed at opening up one of Africa’s fastest-growing but most closed economies.

It has started the process of privatising its telecoms, banking and sugar sectors.

Inflation stood at 19.5% year-on-year in December from 20.8% a month earlier.

Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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