4. Government Finances
Government spending is a notoriously tricky - and volatile - subject every side of the Atlantic, but constitutional checks and balances in more developed economies generally keep it on a studied, even if delicate, keel.
African economies seem to have gradually embraced more discipline, despite the absence in many instances of adequate institutional checks. It should be remembered here that racking up debt is not necessarily an ugly thing, and so, not an absolute measure of proficiency or the lack of it.
The important factor is the use to which debt is put. If put to efficient ends, the results would tend to show in other areas of country performance. For example, major infrastructure is often capital intensive but can (should) result in improved efficiency of economic production, even if through roundabout means (such as, for example, improved living and work conditions producing improved quality of staff performance).
All values are moving averages for the 5 years leading up to - and including - the reference year.
Sources of raw data: IMF
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