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Senegal's economy to rebound to 5% growth in 2021, says IMF

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A man wears a face mask, due to the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, as he rides his motorbike along a busy shopping street in Dakar, Senegal March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

DAKAR, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Senegal's economy will grow 5% in 2021 thanks in part to solid industrial output, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday, revising up a previous forecast of 3.5% growth for this year.

The Fund said it had reached a staff-level agreement with the West African nation that could pave the way for the disbursement of around a further $180 million under an existing loan deal.

Senegal is seeking to recover from the economic shock of the pandemic, which caused its real GDP growth to slow to 1.5% in 2020 from 4.4% a year earlier.

"Senegal’s economic rebound through September 2021 was stronger than envisaged, even as the country faced a third wave of the pandemic in the third quarter, on the back of solid industrial and services production," the IMF said in statement.

It forecast economic growth accelerating to 5.5% in 2022, and to peak at about 10% in 2023-24 with the start of oil and gas production, before easing to around 6% over the medium term.

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Reporting by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Alistair Bell

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