The World Bank expects Zambia’s economy to grow less that 4 percent this year, lower than an April projection of 4.1 percent, it said on Thursday.
“Economic growth in 2018 is projected to be below 4 percent reflecting the poor agricultural harvest, lower copper prices and fiscal debt challenges that are crowding out private sector growth,” the World Bank said in a report.
The World Bank said in April that Zambia’s economy is forecast to grow 4.1 percent in 2018 and 4.5 percent next year, lower than previous projections by the lender, because of the expected impact of poor rains.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has said that Zambia’s economic growth numbers “are not exciting”. Speaking during the launch of the 11th Zambia economic brief at Hotel InterContinental in Lusaka yesterday afternoon, Ruthenberg explained that “on the broader macro-economic front”, Zambia’s economy was still expected to grow this year.
“But frankly, the growth numbers are not exciting. Zambia needs to grow by seven per cent per year to reduce poverty and that’s what we all want for Zambia. In the present, you are hovering around half of that. So, that’s not really where we want to be as Zambia. We all know that most of the challenges are related to the fiscal and debt situation – it impacts so many things and above all, it impacts job creation,” Ruthenberg observed.
“So, the challenges…Zambia is not only facing them alone. There are a number of countries who face very similar challenges. But what we would like to point out is to recognise the challenges and to really take them head-on, to be bold about them. The government has announced some bold measures for fiscal consolidation and we felt that was a very important step – we very much welcome that announcement. So, what are we waiting for now? Well, the obvious – the implementation.”