HARARE, June 5 (The Source) – The World Bank has lowered Zimbabwe’s growth projection to 2.3 percent for this year, from an initial forecast of 3.8 percent in January, saying the economy remains fragile.
The World Bank did not explain the basis of such a prediction, which is lower than the Zimbabwe government’s revised growth estimate of 3,7 percent in March. Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa had earlier projected a 1,7 percent growth
In its report June report on Global Economic Prospects, the World Bank categorised Zimbabwe under fragile economies.
Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to pick up to 2.6 percent in 2017 and to 3.2 percent in 2018, predicated on moderately rising commodity prices and reforms to tackle macroeconomic imbalances.
“At those rates, growth will be insufficient to achieve poverty reduction goals in the region, particularly if constraints to more vigorous growth persist,” read the report.
South Africa’s GDP is projected to rise to 0.6 percent in 2017 and accelerate to 1.1 percent in 2018. Nigeria is forecast to go from recession to a 1.2 percent growth rate in 2017, gaining speed to 2.4 percent in 2018.
Growth in non-resource intensive countries is anticipated to remain solid, supported by infrastructure investment, resilient services sectors, and the recovery of agricultural production. Ethiopia is forecast to expand by 8.3 percent in 2017, Tanzania by 7.2 percent, Côte d’Ivoire by 6.8 percent, and Senegal by 6.7 percent.
The report notes that the regional outlook is subject to significant internal and external risks such as sharp increases in global interest rates which could discourage sovereign bond issuance, which has been a key financing strategy for governments.