Cameroon Economic Outlook

  • Cameroon’s economy grew by a brisk 5.7% in 2015, led mainly by the secondary sector.
  • In the current context of declining oil prices, the country must rationalise public investment and improve the effectiveness of its expenditure.
  • Urbanisation has had a positive impact on poverty reduction, but more proactive policies are needed to diminish inequalities and imbalances.

In 2015, Cameroon’s economy, the engine of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CAEMC), continued to prove resilient despite an unfavourable global economic context (stagnation in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] member countries, slowdown of growth in China and in several emerging countries, and a fall in oil prices and in the country’s export earnings). The region is facing persistent pockets of insecurity at its northern and eastern borders because of the threat of Boko Haram and the crisis in the Central African Republic. Cameroon’s growth in 2015 has been estimated at a solid 5.7%, led mainly by the secondary sector, which grew by 8.4%. The tertiary sector grew by 5% and the primary sector by 4.9%. Oil production, which makes the country a net oil exporter, rose by an exceptional 28.3% as new fields began production. The construction sector also grew, by 7.3%.

Fiscal policy remained moderately expansionary, in line with the furtherance of major infrastructure projects. The 2015 budget, like those of 2013 and 2014, was developed and implemented under the programme-budgeting method. Monetary policy was aimed at stabilising prices and the real effective exchange rate by preventing public expenditure from crowding out private investment. Inflation increased in 2015 by 0.8 of a percentage point to 2.7% because of the rising price of fuel at the pump, itself due to a 40% cut in subsidies to oil products in July 2014, but remained under the 3% CEMAC convergence criterion.