The fastest-growing economies in 2024: the projections

Oluwatoni Olujinmi

In 2023, the global economy witnessed a varied growth pattern, with some nations achieving significant economic progress. The overall global growth rate was expected to decelerate from 3.5% in 2022 to 3% in 2023 and then to 2.9% in 2024. Advanced economies were predicted to grow at a slower pace compared to emerging markets and developing economies.

Therefore, as of 2024, the fastest-growing economies will be predominantly located in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. A trend consistent with previous years’ growth trajectories. These regions continue to be significant drivers of global economic progress.

The 5 fastest-growing economies in 2024

Some of the fastest-growing economies in 2024 are as listed below

Macao SAR

Leading the growth projections is Macao SAR in the Asia Pacific region, with an anticipated GDP growth of 27.2%. Its economy is predominantly driven by the tourism sector, particularly casino gambling and related services. This sector constitutes a major portion of Macao’s GDP and is a vital source of employment. 

The region’s focus on high-value service industries like entertainment, hospitality, and tourism has been central to its economic development. However, this heavy reliance on tourism also renders Macao’s economy vulnerable to global economic fluctuations and changes in travel patterns. 

Additionally, Macao’s economy is influenced by its unique political and economic relationship with China. It operates under the “one country, two systems” principle, which grants it certain autonomous economic and administrative 

Macao SAR, located in the Asia Pacific region, is poised for significant economic growth in 2024.

Guyana

Guyana, with its significant oil discoveries, was another standout, expecting a growth rate of 38.4%. Its a country on the northern mainland of South America, and it is experiencing a rapid economic transformation, primarily driven by the recent discovery and development of significant offshore oil reserves. The oil sector played a crucial role in this growth, with notable contributions from companies like Exxon Mobil Corporation.

The oil sector has attracted substantial foreign investment, particularly in the Stabroek Block, an area rich in oil reserves being developed by international consortiums. This has led to a surge in GDP growth, positioning Guyana as one of the fastest-growing economies globally. 

Beyond oil, Guyana’s economy also includes agriculture, mining, and forestry sectors, but the oil industry’s emergence has dramatically altered the economic landscape. The country faces the challenge of managing this newfound wealth, ensuring sustainable and equitable development, and avoiding the “resource curse” – a situation where resource-rich countries experience economic instability and poor governance outcomes.

Palau

Palau, an island country in the Pacific Ocean, has an economy that relies heavily on tourism, which accounts for a significant portion of its GDP. The country’s natural beauty, with its pristine beaches and rich marine biodiversity, attracts visitors worldwide, making tourism a key economic driver. Palau’s commitment to environmental sustainability, evident in its conservation efforts and eco-friendly tourism policies, further enhances its appeal as a tourist destination. However, the economy’s dependence on tourism makes it susceptible to external factors such as global economic conditions and environmental changes. 

Apart from tourism, Palau’s economy also includes sectors like fishing and agriculture, but these are relatively small in scale. The government’s efforts to diversify the economy and develop other sectors are crucial for long-term economic stability.

Libya

Libya, primarily known for its oil and gas trade, was predicted to grow by 12.5%, despite its political instability and conflicts. 

Its economy is heavily dependent on the oil sector, which accounts for most of the GDP and government revenues. The country possesses some of the largest oil reserves in Africa, making it a significant player in the global energy market. However, political instability and conflict since the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 have severely impacted oil production and exports, leading to economic volatility. 

The non-oil sectors of the economy, such as agriculture and tourism, remain underdeveloped. Libya’s challenges include restoring political stability, rebuilding infrastructure, diversifying the economy, and creating jobs for its young population. Yet, In 2024, Libya emerges as one of the fastest-growing economies, a remarkable turnaround attributed to its stabilization efforts post-conflict and the revitalization of its oil and gas sectors. 

Senegal

Senegal’s economy is one of the more diversified in the West African region. While it has a strong agricultural base, with sectors like fishing and groundnut production playing significant roles, the economy is also bolstered by services, mining, construction, and tourism. Dakar, the capital, is a major regional port and a hub for banking and trade. The discovery of offshore oil and gas reserves has the potential to transform the Senegalese economy, with production expected to boost government revenues and foreign investment. 

However, Senegal’s economic growth is tempered by challenges such as a high unemployment rate, particularly among the youth, and vulnerability to external economic shocks. The government has been working on reforms to improve the business environment, infrastructure development, and energy sector to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty.

Unique challenges and sustainability

While the growth in these economies was impressive, it came with its set of challenges. Reliance on single industries, such as oil in Guyana and Libya, posed risks to economic stability. Political instability and environmental concerns were additional challenges that needed addressing to ensure sustainable growth.

To sustain their growth trajectories, these economies needed to diversify their industrial bases and strengthen institutional frameworks. Investing in human capital, technology, and sustainable practices is crucial for long-term economic stability and growth.

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