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Zimbabwe economy to grow more than 7.4% in 2021 – finance minister

After contracting by 4.1% this year.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Zimbabwe’s economy is set to rebound in 2021 after a recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and drought, with mining, agriculture and moderating inflation anchoring the recovery, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told parliament on Thursday.

Even before the outbreak of Covid-19, the economy was strained by foreign currency shortages, spiralling inflation, unemployment above 90%, a breakdown of social and health and drought that left more than half the population needing aid.

“Economic growth is expected to rebound in 2021 from the consecutive two-year slump to record plus 7.4% growth. This growth will be driven by strong recovery in agriculture, mining, electricity,” Ncube said in a budget speech.

Ncube said inflation was slowing and would next year average 135% year-on-year and below 1% month-on-month. Revenue collections would more than double next year.

But while Ncube was bullish, analysts had doubts about Zimbabwe’s growth prospects in the short term. They cited inflationary and wage pressures, foreign currency shortages and lurking climate shocks that could still hit farming output.

The finance minister previously projected economic growth in 2019 and 2020 but the economy has contracted.

Ncube said a narrowing budget deficit this year, stabilising exchange and an end to money printing by the central bank were indications that the government was serious about fiscal and monetary reforms.

Public sector unions, however, say while treasury seeks to balance the budget, it has been at the expense of workers’ salaries that have been eroded by inflation, leading to strikes.

Hospitals were going without medicines and schools grapple with shortages of learning material, the unions say.

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If it has had zero growth (since 1990) and that increases by just S1 … that’s 100% growth right there.

It is probably growth measured in Zim $ not even ZAR.

The word “grow” (or “growth”) is used out of context here. It gets thrown around too easily.

A better word would be to state (a certain %) RECOVERY from a low base.

(Like the famed ANC T-shirt slogan: “Let’s grow South Africa together”.
Then I realise, there’s nothing wrong with the slogan, as Negative growth is still ‘growth’.

If the minister says so – who are we to doubt his word ? After all : Politicians are the most trustworthy creatures.

You have to smile when politicians do math. 7.4% of nothing is still nothing. Genius.

No offence intended, but this article is funny.

We have all read the most ridiculous and bad economic practices in Zim for the past ten years and or for some readers it will be forty years.

Please ask the minister what is the unemployment rate in Zim?

Last when I read it was 4% or employment rate.

What is the exchange rate for the Zim dollar?

What happened to the Zim stock exchange?

If ZANU PF was ‘white’ there would have been a new civil war in Zim years ago. It is this indifference to the treatment ordinary Blacks receive from their Blacks masters that parties like the ZANU PF and the ANC rely on to stay in power. Something must be done otherwise the status quo, which suits the ZANU PF (and ANC) thugs, will remain.

Very well said; part of the narrative beloved by the MSM and the ruling parties for its distraction value is racism. Otherwise deaths have no value or meaning to these self serving, venal hypocrites.

End of comments.

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