Low commodity prices, weak confidence drag down growth Nigeria’s economy forecast to contract 1.7% this year The International Monetary Fund has cut its 2017 economic growth forecasts for Africa’s two largest economies as low commodity prices, policy uncertainty and weak investor confidence weigh on output. Gross domestic product in South Africa will probably expand 0.8 percent next year, compared with the 1 percent forecast in July, the Washington-based lender said in its World Economic Outlook Report Tuesday. Nigeria’s economy will contract 1.7 percent this year and expand 0.6 percent in 2017, less than the 1.1 percent the IMF earlier forecast. The two nations make up more than half of the sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP. The fall in global commodity prices has hindered economic growth in the continent’s biggest producers of oil and minerals like platinum and gold, and led to a slump in foreign-currency earnings. In Nigeria, electricity shortages and […]