Cameroon construction growth seen rising

Cameroon construction growth seen rising
Published: 12 October 2009

Growth will pick up in Cameroon in 2010 because of an increase in spending on state projects that will help counterbalance the impact of the global downturn on central Africa’s biggest economy, analysts say.
Cameroon’s growth rate is expected to fall to around 2.5 per cent in 2009 from 4.1 per cent in 2008 as a result of lower foreign demand for Cameroon’s primary export commodities such as oil, wood, rubber, cotton and aluminium.

But a Reuters poll of analysts showed growth in gross domestic product rising to 3.0 per cent in 2010.

"We expect a slight recovery in 2010 as a result mainly of a substantial increase in cement production as part of a pickup in building and public works programmes, a rise in agricultural production, and of cocoa and bananas," Cameroon’s Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT) said.
Government construction schemes are seen as key to the revival.

"A government boost to investment and the mandated cutting of food prices (have) improved economic prospects recently," said Lisa Lewin, analyst at London-based Business Monitor International (BMI).
Cameroon’s government has cut its 2009 growth forecast twice this year, from 4.1 percent in January to 3 percent in April and 2.5 per cent by the end of June.

"The economy has continued to perform poorly because government has not carried out reforms to improve the business climate," said Babissakana, chief executive of Prescriptor, a Yaounde-based finance and economic consultancy.