The COVID-19 pandemic is having a severe impact on São Tomé and Príncipe’s economy, exacerbating fiscal and external imbalances. Tourism activities and external remittances dropped sharply, while lockdown measures further deepened the recession. The authorities’ swift actions and unprecedented international financial support are helping the country weather the emergency. The economy began to reopen in the fall, but the outlook for 2021 remains challenging and subject to significant uncertainty.
The Nigerian economy is at a critical juncture. A weak pre-crisis economy characterized by falling per capita income, double-digit inflation, significant governance vulnerabilities and limited buffers, is grappling with multiple shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Real output is projected to contract by 3.2 percent in 2020, with a weak recovery likely to keep per capita income stagnant and no higher than the 2010 level in the medium term. Policy adjustment and reforms are urgently needed to navigate this crisis and change the long-running lackluster course.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected Benin. The authorities’ early and decisive action has helped stave off the spread of the virus, and a sizeable fiscal response has kept a recession at bay. Nevertheless, the economy has suffered a substantial downgrade in its economic outlook, with growth slowing down from 6.9 percent in 2019 to 2 percent in 2020, against an initial projection of 7 percent before the pandemic. Large financing needs, opened by the authorities’ fiscal response to the crisis, have given rise to an urgent balance of payments need.