March 22, 2017 / 1:52 PM / in 4 months

Central Africa's CEMAC bloc sees 2017 growth rising to 1.6 pct

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YAOUNDE, March 22 (Reuters) - Central Africa's six-nation CEMAC economic bloc will see growth of 1.6 percent this year, up from 0.2 percent last year, due to rising oil prices and improved management of public finances, the regional central bank said on Wednesday.

The resource-rich zone, which comprises Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Congo Republic and Central African Republic, has been hit by a prolonged oil slump.

Analysts expect crude prices to recover this year but bulging global stockpiles of oil sent the price of benchmark Brent crude on Wednesday to its lowest level since November.

Abbas Mahamat Tolli, the governor of the regional BEAC bank, also told reporters in Cameroon's capital of Yaounde that inflation in the CEMAC countries would average 2.6 percent, under the zone's target 3 percent ceiling. (Reporting by Sylvain Andzongo; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Alison Williams)

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