By NGOZI Onyeakusi

Economic confidence across Africa has been improving since the end of last year, according to the latest edition of the Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS).

The quarterly survey of global CFOs and finance professionals, conducted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and IMA (the Institute of Management Accountants), found that confidence in Africa is now at its highest since the second quarter of 2015.

Jamil Ampomah, Director, Sub Saharan Africa, ACCA, said, ‘Economic confidence in Africa has picked up, with the survey results showing that although government spending expectations have slightly fallen, they remain relatively healthy.

‘The previous year was challenging, but there are now signs ofimprovement, led by the continent’s major economies, Nigeria and South Africa.’

‘Growth in Nigeria may benefit from an increase in oil production, given it is not bound by the OPEC deal to restrict production. In South Africa, meanwhile, despite continuing political instability, a rebound in agricultural production following a drought last year and falling inflation may support the growth outlook.

Globally, the GECS results were quite positive, with many economies set for reasonable growth over the coming years.

‘Global confidence fell from the previous quarter, but is still above levels seen throughout last year. Healthy employment prospects in the US and a gentler than expected slowdown in China will help. Meanwhile, the Eurozone may benefit from easing austerity, and investor confidence after parties opposing the European project failed to deliver in recent elections’ says Narayanan Vaidyanathan, senior business analyst at ACCA.