NAIROBI Feb 9 Somalia's economy is expected to
slow sharply this year as a drought knocks production in
farming, although the impact will be partially offset by a boost
from construction and telecommunications, the International
Monetary Fund said.
In a statement late on Wednesday, the IMF projected the Horn
of Africa nation's gross domestic product would expand 2.5
percent this year down from estimated 3.4 percent in 2016.
"The Somali economy is expected to continue to be sustained
by donors' grants, remittances, and foreign direct investment,
mostly by the Somali diaspora," it said.
"The deceleration in growth mainly reflects the impact of
the drought on the agriculture sector, which will be partially
offset by activities in the construction, telecommunications,
and service sectors."
The IMF expects inflation to reach 2.7 percent this year, up
from 1.5 percent in 2016.
Somalia has been in turmoil since 1991, hit by decades of
conflict at the hands of clan militias. Over the past several
years it has also been plagued by an insurgency by al
Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, famine and maritime piracy.
On Wednesday, its parliament elected Mohamed Abdullahi
Mohamed as the country's new president.
(Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Editing by George
Obulutsa & Shri Navaratnam)