World Bank projects below 4% 2016 economic growth, as inflation soars to 19.5%

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The World Bank has projected Zambia’s economic growth to fall below 4 percent in 2016 as a result of domestic and international pressures.

Speaking during a media breakfast in Lusaka today, new World Bank country Manager Ina-Marlene Ruthewburg notes that Zambia’s economy has come under significant strain as a result of both external factors and domestic pressures.
She has however, expressed confidence that the country’s economy will rebound in the medium term of 2016.
And Ms. Ruthewburg says the World Bank has continued to implement a number of investment projects and is currently implementing 15 big investments projects in the country at a total volume of commitment of eight hundred and sixty million United States dollars.
She says the global bank will continue supporting the Zambian government by financing public sector investments.
Meanwhile the annual rate of inflation for November 2015 has soared to 19.5 percent, an increase of 5.2 percentage points from the October inflation of 14.3 percent.
Government’s end year inflation target is 6.5 percent .
Central Statistical Office Acting Director of Census and Statistics Goodson Sinyenga has told a media briefing in Lusaka this morning that this means that on average, prices increased by 19.5 percent between November 2014 and November 2015.
Mr. Sinyenga has explained that the increase in the annual rate of inflation is attributed to both food and non-food items with the annual food inflation rate recorded at 23.4 percent compared to 16.2 percent recorded in October, 2015.
He says the annual non food inflation rate for November 2015 increased to 15.5 percent from 12.4 percent recorded in October 2015 indicating an increase of 3.1 percentage points.
Mr. Sinyenga says Lusaka Province had the highest provincial contribution of 5.4 percentage points to the overall annual inflation rate for November, implying that price movements in Lusaka had the greatest influence to the overall annual rate of inflation seconded by Copperbelt contributing about 3.8 percentage points.
He states that a comparison of retail prices between October and November 2015 shows that the national average price of a 25kg bag of breakfast mealie meal increased by 10.7 percent from K71.92 to K79.63.
And Mr. Sinyenga says Zambia recorded a trade deficit in October 2015 valued at K2. 5million representing a 22.4 Percent increase from K2.1 million recorded in September 2015.
He says this means that the country imported more in October 2015 than it exported in nominal terms.
Mr. Sinyenga says Zambia’s major export products in October 2015 were from the intermediate category mainly comprising of Copper cathodes and sections of refined copper accounting for 75.8 percent.

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