COVID-19: Zambian economy to shrink by 4.2% in 2020

Zambian President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu[PHOTO CREDIT: @EdgarCLungu]
Zambian President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu[PHOTO CREDIT: @EdgarCLungu]

Zambia’s economic growth in 2020 has been revised downwards due to the negative effects of the COVID-19, its finance ministry said on Wednesday.

Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu said this in a ministerial statement delivered at the parliament in Lusaka.

The economy growth has been downgraded from the initial growth of at least 3 per cent to a negative growth of around minus 4.2 per cent.

Mr Ng’andu said that primary and secondary sectors like mining, energy, construction and manufacturing were expected to record poor performance while service sectors like wholesale and trade, tourism, transport and professional services are equally expected to underperform.

“My ministry has continued to review the performance and projected growth of the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Analysis conducted indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic will have an adverse impact on the economy,” he said.

However, sectors like agriculture as well as information and communication have shown resilience and are expected to record strong growth.

The agriculture sector was projected to record strong growth due to good favourable rain patterns, which have seen a 69 per cent production of maize, the country’s staple crop.

The Zambian minister further said the government was in the process of revising the 2020 budget due to an increase in expenditure and a decline in revenues.

The government believes that prudent management of finances has become even more important in view of the resource requirements to fight COVID-19, he said. (Xinhua/NAN)



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