Angola’s economy should grow 7.5 percent this year, after a sharp downturn led to an estimated rise of not more than 0.5 percent in 2009, the World Bank has indicated. Africa’s top oil producer saw revenues drop off in 2009 due to tumbling crude oil prices on international markets. This led to a 30 percent drop in exterior reserves which in turn caused the kwanza currency to lose 25 percent of its value compared to the U.S. dollar. Last May the World Bank forecast that the Angolan economy would contract by 3 percent in 2009. However, the report released on Feb. 8 estimates that growth in the meantime was between minus 0.5 percent and plus 0.5 percent. The World Bank’s head economist in Angola, Ricardo Gazel, said oil production should rise this year to 1.9 million barrels from the 1.79 million barrel figure for 2009. (macauhub)

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