The global recession was slow to reach Africa, but the continent did suffer from dampened demand for its commodities exports and from shrunken venture-capital funds. Economies of countries south of the Sahara together grew by less than 2% in 2009. But recovery is coming sooner than expected. Sub-Saharan Africa's economy is forecast to grow overall by 4.5% this year, in part because of the economic recovery in Asia. This is still slower than the 6% that many development economists reckon is the minimum to enable countries with rapidly increasing populations just to stand still.