The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), which manages monetary policy for all member countries of West African Monetary Union (called UEMOA in French), published on the 22nd December its report on the establishment of a sub-regional indicator for calculating the growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP) quarterly.
This indicator is intended to apprehend the evolution of economic activities in the WAEMU within the same year, as such, “be integrated into macroeconomic forecasting models available to the Central Bank. It reinforces the internal device of monitoring the economies of the union and will be produced within a timeframe compatible with the quarterly macroeconomic framework exercises, “it is said in the report on the work carried out for this purpose.
It is thus clear from the new method, the growth of gross domestic product at constant prices WAEMU stood at 7.2% in the third quarter of 2014, year by year, from 6.0% in the second quarter and 6 1% in the first quarter. An improvement that reflects the acceleration of activity observed especially in the tertiary sector and in agriculture export
The method, however, will face a challenge, particularly in agriculture, where activities in most countries of the WAEMU as in many African countries are heavily dependent on seasonal and climatic hazards. Another challenge is also that of the availability of data. The methodology adopted by the BCEAO provided that they have published two months after the end of the quarter, a sufficiently bygone period to be decisive in investment decisions.
Dissemination of quarterly national accounts is a requirement of the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), created in 1996 by IMF to facilitate the countries’ access to international capital markets. In Africa, the recent experiences of developing quarterly national accounts have been observed in Morocco, Mauritius, South Africa and Tunisia. In Senegal, the work of setting up the quarterly GDP has started in 2007.