Private Savings and COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa – International Monetary Fund

Author/Editor:

Boileau Loko ; Nelie Nembot ; Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro

Publication Date:

September 9, 2022

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

The paper reexamines the main private savings determinants in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), followed by an analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic impact on private savings in SSA and other country groupings. Using an unbalanced panel data from 1983−2021 for 31 SSA economies, the paper finds that real per capita economic growth remains a key historical determinant of private savings in the region. In contrast with other regions, private saving rates have not increased during COVID-19 in SSA. Instead, COVID-19 deaths in our estimations are significantly associated with a decline in private savings in SSA. Robustness checks and a descriptive analysis of household surveys during the pandemic corroborate those results.