The world is on the road from recession to recovery, and economies in both advanced and developing countries are improving. Global activity and trade are strengthening, partly due to an increase in demand for imports in developed nations. According to the International Monetary Fund's most recent World Economic Outlook (WEO), published in October 2013, global growth is estimated to be at 3.7 percent this year, predicted to increase to 3.9 percent in 2015. Though growth is slowing down in emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (known as the the BRIC countries) - as they're on the descent from cyclical peaks - many nations, including the USA, the UK and much of the eurozone, are set to beat 2013’s growth rates.
The WEO data tells us that emerging Asian and Sub-Saharan African countries are poised to top the charts in terms of rapidity of economic growth over the coming year. Most of these nations are poor - some of the poorest in the world - and the recent improvements in their economies are mainly driven by the sale of natural resources such as gas or oil to richer countries. Of course, this dependence on natural resources is not always a good thing, as it has been known to lead to corruption, a spike in inflation, and the impairment of non-resource industries. And the very nature of these resources is that they're finite, which is an inherent concern. The economic growth of these countries, many of which are situated on the poorest continent on earth, has been know to have an effect on neighbouring countries and trade partners, leading to sometimes unpredictable economic developments.
The following countries are ordered by percentages which reflect the projected growth of their Gross Domestic Product in 2014, according to the World Economic Outlook.
5 The Democratic Republic of the Congo – 10.5%
4 Mongolia – 11.7%
3 Sierra Leone – 14.0%
2 Libya – 25.5%
1 South Sudan – 43.0%
The Republic of South Sudan is a country in northeastern Africa with an estimated population of 8.3 million. It became an independent state in 2011 following a peaceful referendum. South Sudan has a severely underdeveloped economy, with a major lack of infrastructure. It struggles to provide basic services to its people and has the highest maternal mortality rate and lowest female literacy rate in the world. The country is plagued by civil war and conflict with other nations. Like Libya, it's almost entirely dependent on oil for its revenue, which has led to numerous problems. Following a dispute with its neighbour Sudan, South Sudan put a halt to its oil exports in January 2012. This devastated the economy, causing the GDP to plummet to -47.6% and driving inflation up as high as 80%. After the resumption of oil exports in 2013, the GDP has quickly begun to return to normal. However, it is thought that if no new finds are made, South Sudanese oil reserves will be seriously diminished by 2020. The country desperately needs to diversify its economy in order to survive. Yet, perhaps given our current dependence on oil internationally, the IMF predict this will be a year of rapid economic growth for South Sudan.
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