Patrick Hettinger

Senior country economist for Liberia

Patrick Hettinger has been the AfDB’s Senior Country Economist for Liberia since October 2011.  He previously worked as an economist with the Central Bank of Papua New Guinea focusing on monetary policy implementation and research, at the International Monetary Fund preparing the World Economic Outlook, and as a small business development consultant in Senegal.


15Aug2014

Beyond the health crisis, Ebola hits Liberia’s economy hard

With over 400 deaths in Liberia and more than 1,000 across West Africa, the Ebola epidemic has been the deadliest in history and has spread fear and panic across the region. But beyond the terrifying health crisis, the Ebola outbreak threatens to reverse much of the economic and social progress Liberia has made over its decade of peace. While GDP growth had averaged over 8% since 2011, it was already forecast to slow down to 5.9% in 2014 due to slower growth in iron ore production, weak timber and rubber exports growth, and the gradual drawdown of the United Nations force (UNMIL). However, restrictions on transportation and commerce, the withdrawal of international workers, a slowdown of investment, and a panicked population will further reduce growth this year. Containing the crisis rapidly will be critical to preserve the progress made, and to reduce risks to the short- and medium-term outlook.


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