Ethiopian Business Review

Fuelled partly by exchange rate depreciations and widening fiscal deficits, average inflation across Africa stood at 7.2Pct in 2017, increasing from 5.6Pct in 2016, according to the African Trade Report published by the African Export-Import Bank  in July 2018. However, there was wide variation across countries. For instance, inflation remained high in several economic giants such as Egypt, Nigeria and Angola. On the other hand, countries like Swaziland, Mali and Cameroon exhibited the lowest inflation rates in 2017.

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In 2017, the reserves of many African countries showed increases due to better commodity prices. In particular, increased oil and export earnings helped reverse the downward trend in Africa’s reserve position in 2016. Africa’s external reserves declined by 9.4Pct in 2016 to USD396.63 billion, while in 2017 it showed a 6.3Pct increase reaching USD421.53 billion. 

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Finland has taken the top spot as the happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2018, which ranked 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.

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