Congo Republic sees economy recovering to 0.5% growth in 2021

BRAZZAVILLE, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The Republic of Congo’s government said on Tuesday its economy would grow 0.5% next year on the back of a more buoyant outlook for oil futures, after contracting 8.6% in 2020.

Revenues for next year will increase 21% to 1,846.1 billion CFA francs ($3.32 billion), up from 1,525.3 billion CFA francs ($2.74 billion) in 2020, according to the minutes of a Monday cabinet meeting seen by Reuters.

The country’s budget this year suffered from the dual shock of the collapse in world oil prices and increased government expenditure to manage the cononavirus pandemic, the government said.

The Republic of Congo was still in recovery mode after crude prices plummeted in 2014 and its debt levels ballooned to 118% of GDP in 2017.

“The recession can be explained by the underperformance of all business sector,” including in the oil, logging, transport and communication sectors, the document read.

“The prospects for a recovery in oil prices are very uncertain. Based on oil futures, a slow and partial recovery is expected, with a slight recovery by the end of 2020.”

Reporting by Philon Bondenga; writing by Hereward Holland, editing by Ed Osmond