Ethiopia: WB Rejects Gov’t Growth Forecast, Says IMF Figuers More Realistic – By Biruk Girma (allAfrica.com)

April 9th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Addis Abeba — The recently made growth forecast for the year’s economic growth of the country by the International Money Fund (IMF) was more realistic than the forecast made by the Ethiopian government, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

“The World Bank team here believes that the IMF’s is more realistic than the government’s forecast for the reason that investment in the country seems to be slowing” the Bank’s Country Director for Ethiopia Kenichi Ohashi told journalists at a round table discussion attended by visiting World Bank Director for International Affairs, Grace Ssempala.

He said it would be difficult for the country to sustain the economy growth it has been recording through the years because of the challenges in government spending. The Ethiopian government claims that over the past five years the country has registered an average economic growth of 11.8 percent. Just last week, it said it will be 11.2 percent this fiscal year, despite the challenges in inflation and crunches in balance of payment.

Nevertheless, forecasts by the IMF for the year indicated that the growth may decline by almost a half, to 6.5 percent as the world slowdown is likely to hit the country’s coffee export, tourism and transportation.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi recently said that the world economic downturn was not to be considered significant compared to the economic achievements the country is registering, “in the face of global financial crisis.” “It is projected that the global crisis will continue to prevail for the next two or three years, on our side there is a hope that our economy will continue to grow at the same pace,” he said.

But the IMF has said that the country is one of the vulnerable countries to the unfolding crisis.

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