“Non-hydrocarbon growth is likely to reach 6 per cent in 2007,” the IMF says. “However, overall growth is projected at slightly below 5 per cent because of a decline in hydrocarbon production.”

The forecast for 2008 was more positive. “Growth in the hydrocarbon sector is likely to resume, while growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector should accelerate thanks to the strength of services and construction, and the revival of industrial activity,” the IMF says.

Hydrocarbons account for about 97 per cent of Algeria’s exports.