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Mauritania growth at four percent despite crippling drought
by Staff Writers
Nouakchott (AFP) May 15, 2012


Mauritania's economy resisted a slowdown in external demand and the effects of a severe drought, and growth is estimated at 4.0 percent in 2011, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday.

"Economic growth in Mauritania remains sustained despite the effects of the acute drought and the slowdown in external demand," read an IMF statement issued after a visit to the country.

"Real GDP growth, estimated at 4.0 percent for 2011, underperformed initial forecasts, owing essentially to the significant drop in agricultural production."

Inflation was under control at 5.7 percent despite higher food and petrol prices from abroad.

The IMF put this resilience down to policies implemented to bolster macroeconomic stability.

Strong performance of mining exports saw foreign exchange reserves double to an $501 million (389 million euro).

A recovery in agricultural production and expected uptick in activity in the pubilding and public works sector is likely to see growth reach 5.5 percent in 2012, read the statement.

The west African nation's economy, heavily dependent on agriculture, has suffered in the past as a result of frequent droughts. However it is rich in minerals such as gold and iron whose exports have helped keep growth high.

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