14 Jan

ADB Report Explores Africa’s Delayed Growth

first_imgThe 2015 African Economic Outlook report a flagship publication of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says that while African economists are optimistic that the continent’s economies would grow by 5% in 2016, they are also concerned that lower oil and commodity prices, uncertain global conditions, the consequences of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and domestic political uncertainties in some countries could delay growth dated back to 2008.The report was released yesterday to African heads of states, AfDB’s Board of Governors and stakeholders who converged in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire for the AfDB 50th Annual Meetings. Although the report indicates that human development levels in Africa have increased since 2000, with 17 out of 52 countries reaching middle or high levels of development, the region’s poverty rates remain stubbornly high while progress in health, education and income are uneven.“Huge inequalities persist between and within countries, and between women and men. In many areas, low productivity and investment, the absence of infrastructure and rural-urban networks and too few jobs outside of the agricultural sector are holding back economic and development progress,” the report notes. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is forecast to reach USD 73.5 billion in 2015, underpinned by increasing Greenfield investment from China – which remains Africa’s largest trade partner after the European Union. The report also shows an increase in intra-African and outward FDI flows. South African companies are the leading investors on the continent. “African countries have shown considerable resilience in the face of global economic adversity. For future growth to be sustainable and transformative will require that its benefits are shared more equitably among the population and that governments continue to pursue policies that promote economic stability,” stated Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Acting Chief Economist and Vice-President of the African Development Bank. Opposite Sides of ‘Growth’According to the report, the continent’s demographic boom is exacerbating these challenges. By 2050, both cities and rural communities in Africa will see their population grow drastically, with the countryside gaining an estimated 400 million people. For instance, the report states that over the next 15 years, 370 million youth will enter sub-Saharan Africa’s labour markets, making it necessary to create many more jobs and opportunities for savings and investment. In addition, that population growth, combined with climate change, will exert increasing pressure on natural resources, such as food, water and land. At Liberia’s level regarding city population growth, over 1 million people are concentrated in Monrovia while thousands are in smaller cities including Gbarnga, Ganta, Kakata and Buchanan.The report argues that past efforts to promote regional development through territorial management, infrastructure development and decentralization have been scattered and had limited impact. As a result, the potential of Africa’s regions, which includes river basins, border areas and key rural-urban corridors, remains unfulfilled.“African economies could benefit from mobilizing the wide and extraordinary untapped potential of their diverse regions. Putting people and places at the centre of policy-making may improve Africa’s competitiveness and the well-being of Africans” said Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre. Ways ForwardSuggesting ways forward, the African economic experts say transforming economies will require exploring more productive sectors, through promoting manufacturing, developing services, creating strategies for green growth or modernizing the agricultural sector.In addition, tackling spatial inequalities would require implementing policies that cut across sectors. These include diversifying rural economies and linking them with cities, through the promotion of value chains and trade corridors. They also include unlocking domestic financing, developing transport and communication and investing in basic social services. “Inclusive and sustainable growth is a fundamental aspect of Africa’s post-2015 development agenda for economic and social transformation,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Director of the Regional Bureau at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “We need to invest in building economic opportunities, including at the local level. And especially those young women and men who are the architects of tomorrow’s Africa.”The report calls for strengthening skills and education, addressing exclusion through the development of targeted social protection measures, and promoting universal access to sustainable energy and technology. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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15 Aug

Home Equity Gains are Rising in the West

first_img CoreLogic Home Equity 2016-12-08 MirashaBrown The substantial and ongoing rise in aggregate home equity across the country over the last seven years is creating more wealth for homeowners—and the West Coast is leading the way in equity gains.Homeowners in the United States saw their equity increase by an aggregate total of $227 billion in Q3 2016, which is a 3.1 increase from Q2 2016, according to CoreLogic’s Q3 2016 Negative Equity Report. Home equity has grown by $726 billion since last year, which is a 10.8 percent increase in Q3 compared to Q3 2015.The number of underwater mortgaged homes, or those with with negative equity, was at 3.2 million (6.3 percent) in Q3 2016, which is a decrease of 10.7 percent quarter-over-quarter from 3.6 million homes (7.1 percent) in Q2 2016. The share of borrowers with negative equity is way down from its Q4 2009 peak of 26 percent, according to CoreLogic.Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, acknowledged a trend in West Coast states that obtaining positive equity. “Home equity rose by $12,500 for the average homeowner over the last four quarters,” he said. “There was wide geographic variation with homeowners in California, Oregon and Washington gaining an average of at least $25,000 in home equity wealth, while owners in Alaska, North Dakota and Connecticut had small declines, on average.”Texas had  the highest percentage of homes with positive equity (98.4 percent), followed by Alaska (98.1 percent), Colorado (97.9 percent), Utah (97.9 percent), and Washington (97.9 percent), according to CoreLogic. Nevada accounted for 14.2 percent of mortgaged properties in negative equity. Florida (12.5 percent), Illinois (10.6 percent), Arizona (10.6 percent), and Rhode Island (10 percent) rounded out the top five states that made up 30.6 percent of negative equity mortgages in the nation.Anand Nallathambi, President and CEO of CoreLogic, attributed the equity gains to the rise in home prices. “Price appreciation is the main ingredient for home equity wealth creation, and home prices rose 5.8 percent in the year ending September 2016 according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index,” he said. “Pay down of principal is the second key component of equity building. Many homeowners have refinanced into shorter-term loans, such as a 15-year loan, and by doing so, they have significantly fewer mortgage payments and are able to build equity wealth faster.”Three out of the five metros with the highest share of homes with positive equity were located in the West. San Francisco was first at 99.4 percent, followed by Houston (98.5 percent), Denver (98.4 percent), Los Angeles (96.9 percent), and Boston (95.3 percent).The metro area with the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity in Q3 was Miami at 17 percent, followed by Las Vegas (16.2 percent), Chicago (12.2 percent), Washington, D.C. (8.7 percent), and New York City (5.1 percent).Click here to view the complete report. December 8, 2016 484 Views Home Equity Gains are Rising in the Westcenter_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

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