DAKAR - Senegal's economy is expected to grow by 4.8 percent in 2022, down from 6.1 percent in 2021, the World Bank said on Wednesday, citing that the agriculture and mining sectors would carry the bulk of growth this year.

It said in a report that last year's positive performance was due to the return of private spending and investment to the West African country, which pushed inflation up 2.2 percent, with price hikes during the second half of the year.

Senegal's budget deficit, which hit 6.4 percent of GDP in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, remained almost unchanged at 6.3 percent of GDP in 2021.

The Bank said the agriculture and mining sectors would carry the bulk of growth this year, the latter due to new investments, as the service industry continues recovering from the pandemic.

Price hikes have dampened private spending, although private investments, particularly in the mining sector, will continue to boost the economy.

Inflation is predicted to reach 8.7 percent this year, reflecting the global increase in fuel and food prices linked to the war in Ukraine.

Senegal, a coastal nation of around 16 million considered lower-middle-income by the World Bank, was hit hard by the pandemic. Border closures affected tourism and delayed oil and gas projects that are now scheduled to start in 2023-24.

Those projects are expected to boost economic growth to an average of 9.2 percent during that period, the World Bank report said.

(Reporting by Diadie Ba, Writing by Sofia Christensen, Editing by James Macharia Chege)