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    Pandemic and explosions worsen Equatorial Guinea prospects, IMF says

    Abstract:DAKAR (Reuters) – Equatorial Guineas ailing economy has been dented by the pandemic and a series of deadly dynamite explosions in 2021 despite government efforts to mitigate the impact of these shocks on the oil-producing nation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday.

      div classBodysc17zpet90 cdBBJodivpDAKAR Reuters – Equatorial Guineas ailing economy has been dented by the pandemic and a series of deadly dynamite explosions in 2021 despite government efforts to mitigate the impact of these shocks on the oilproducing nation, the International Monetary Fund IMF said on Friday.p

      pThe former Spanish colony on the west coast of central Africa suffered a double economic shock in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak and a drop in the price of crude, which provides around threequarters of state revenue.pdivdivdiv classBodysc17zpet90 cdBBJodiv

      pIt took another hit in March 2021, when the negligent handling of dynamite stored at an army base caused a series of explosions in the coastal city of Bata, killing over 100 and injuring hundreds more.p

      pWhile nonhydrocarbon GDP is estimated to have increased by 1.3 percent in 2021 due to a drop in coronavirus cases and the easing of containment measures, real GDP is estimated to have declined by 3.5 percent, the IMF said in a statement.p

      pThe country had already seen seven consecutive years of economic decline before the pandemic, it added.p

      pAlthough real GDP is projected to grow by around 6 percent in 2022 due to the base affects of lowerthanexpected gas production the previous year, and the start of reconstruction in Bata, longerterm prospects remain bleak.p

      pHydrocarbon output is expected to fall in the mediumterm as major oil fields mature and investments in exploration slow, the IMF said.p

      pThe global rise in food and fertilizer prices is also likely to affect food security among already vulnerable population groups and fuel inflation.p

      pMost of the countrys 1.2 million inhabitants live in poverty despite Equatorial Guineas vast oil reserves.p

      pThe government sought to recover the pandemic and Bata explosion fallout by spending more money on the health sector, cutting nonpriority expenditure and giving the private sector temporary tax relief.p

      p

      pp Reporting by Sofia Christensen Editing by James Macharia Chegep

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