Biti projects rosy outlook for Zim economy in 2012

Zimbabwe’s economy is projected to grow by up to 9% next year, driven by stronger farm output and mine exports, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Wednesday.

“The economy is projected to grow by 7.8% to 9% percent in 2012, compared to a growth rate of about 9.3% in 2011,” Biti said in a pre-budget statement to Parliament.

“Agriculture and mining will remain the major contributors to overall growth, with other sectors such as tourism, manufacturing, transport and communication also increasing their share.”

He said inflation is expected at 3.7% in 2011 and 5% in 2012.

The national budget for 2012 will be $3.5-billion, up from $2.7-billion this year. Biti said donors could chip in about $500-million.


The 2012 budget includes funding for a constitutional referendum and elections but the lion’s share — $2.1-billion — will cover wages, he said.

Exports are projected to jump by 11% to $4.6-billion next year, he said.

Food imports are seen dropping by nearly one third, he said, a sharp improvement for a country that has struggled to feed its population for the last decade.

The current account deficit — the shortfall between exports and imports plus some capital transfers — is projected to improve from $1.6-billion in 2011 to $1.2-billion in 2012.

But Biti said the government must focus more on its top priorities, pointing out that $80 million is needed to rehabilitate power plants while the government has spent $40-million on foreign travel so far this year.

Biti belongs to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, which for the last two years has shared power with long-ruling President Robert Mugabe in a fragile unity government.

The government has halted the country’s economic freefall, largely by abandoning the local currency that was left worthless after years of hyper-inflation.

But Zimbabwe is still struggling to attract foreign investment and create jobs, with many investors keeping a wary eye on elections expected next year. — Sapa-AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

2019: The ones who left us

From Uyinene Mrwetyana, Oliver Mtukudzi to Xolani Gwala, Mail & Guardian remembers those who have passed on

More battles ahead for domestic worker unions

Florence Sosiba, speaks to the Mail & Guardian about how important domestic workers are and exclusion in the COIDA

“Life has been good to me, considering where I come from” – Xolani Gwala

Just over a year ago, veteran radio presenter Xolani Gwala’s cancer was in remission. He spoke to the Mail & Guardian once he was back on air.

Kanya Cekeshe’s lawyer appeals decision not to grant him bail to the high court

Kanya Cekeshe’s legal team filed an urgent appeal at the Johannesburg high court on Tuesday against Monday’s judgment by magistrate Theunis Carstens.

Leader’s principal aim to build IFP

Gravitas: Velenkosini Hlabisa brings his experience to his new post as leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Police Minister Bheke Cele addresses Jeppestown

Police minister Bheki Cele visited Jeppestown on Tuesday to speak to business owners and community leaders.
Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

Hope grows on Durban beachfront

Ten homeless men who turned a vacant lot into an organic vegetable garden are now reaping the rewards of their toil

Shabnim Ismail bowls her way into the record books Down...

The night before Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) final, fiery South African fast bowler Shabnim Ismail lay awake pondering how...

Hawks make arrest in matric maths paper leak

Themba Daniel Shikwambana, who works at a printing company, was granted bail and is due to return to court in January

Andile Lungisa: Early parole for the house of truth

Disgraced Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa calls for a change of leadership in the ANC immediately after being released on parole
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…