Although growth was accelerated by the high prices of commodities on which sub-Saharan Africa is highly dependent, the region must now deal with the effects of falling oil prices. The 45 countries screened by Coface are affected to different degrees. Three of these countries have all the ingredients needed for dynamic growth in the short and the long term. They have been relatively spared by the decline in world commodity prices and their economies are diversifying.
China is trying to find a way to achieve healthier, more sustainable growth, but this is not completely painless for its economy – or for those of its neighbours. According to Coface estimates, growth is unlikely to exceed 6.7% in 2015 and 6.2% in 2016, compared with 13.4% over the period 2006-2007. This is mainly a result of the technological and capital catch-up process running out of steam: several industries are suffering from overcapacity and corporate indebtedness is high, thus impacting investment. We are witnessing a shift in the Chinese economic model. Which Asian countries will be the first victims if there is a hard landing? And which will enjoy the greatest immunity?
160 COUNTRIES UNDER THE MAGNIFYING GLASS
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Although worldwide growth continues to recover,its rate will not exceed 3% for the fourth year in a row. The advanced economies are doing much better: Activity in the USA rose significantly in the 2nd quarter (2.5% forecast for 2015), thanks to both consumer spending and investment, and in the Eurozone (1.5%) the gradual upturn in activity continues
Company insolvencies in Western Europe have experienced two successive storms. The subprime crisis, which made insolvencies jump by an average of +11% in the twelve countries studied was, unsurprisingly, followed by further shock waves, with increases of +8% in 2012 and +5% in 2013. Today the skies have begun to clear. The average drop of 9% observed in 2014 will continue with -7% in 2015 . While insolvencies continue to increase in Italy and Norway, they are seeing the positive impact of the timid recovery in the eurozone in ten other countries (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom and Sweden).
Many countries are facing the full brunt of the decline in oil prices, especially emerging countries for which Coface has revised growth forecasts to 4% for 2015 (compared to 4.2% in March 2015). Meanwhile, developed economies (2% growth forecast for 2015 and 2016) are benefiting from the slight recovery taking shape in the eurozone (1.5% in 2015).