IMF projects Zim economy to grow 3,2pc

IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Zimbabwe’s economy to register 3,2 percent growth in 2024, reflecting the negative impact of drought and declining global commodity prices.

This means that if it were not for drought and lower mineral prices, which account for the bulk of the country’s exports, the domestic economy would see more solid growth this year.

IMF’s projections are within range of the 3,5 percent growth forecast by Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.

According to the IMF’s recent outlook report published this week, Zimbabwe’s economy expanded by 5,3 percent in 2023 from 6,5 percent in 2022.

Recently, the African Development Bank (AfDB) projected Zimbabwe’s economy to grow by 3,6 percent in 2024, which is within the bounds of forecasts by other international financial institutions.

Growth projections in the African Economic Outlook Report released by the AfDB say Zimbabwe’s economy could expand by 3,6 percent this year despite the impact of the El Nino phenomenon.

The World Bank revised its economic growth projections for Zimbabwe for 2023 and 2024 in its latest Global Economic Prospects.

The Bretton Woods Institution expects Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 3,5 percent in 2024 from its June 2023 forecast of 3,4 percent.

Zimbabwe’s GDP growth for 2023 is estimated at 4,5 percent, up from the initial forecast of 2,9 percent by the World Bank.

The AfDB has however cited power outages and financial uncertainties as factors that would slow down economic growth in the Southern Africa region.

The IMF predicts a soft landing scenario in 2024 for the global economy.

The fund warned that leaders should be preparing for future shocks and challenges.

“We have had a relatively resilient global economy so far. We expect that resilience to continue into 2024,” said IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack in a statement.

“At the same time, inflation is coming down. Labour markets continue to be resilient and of course, the news is not all good because this resilience, with growth hovering around 3 percent both last year and over the expected over the medium-term, is much lower than previous global average growth rates, which were about 3,8 percent.”

Ms Kozack added that the global lender would work to lift global growth, especially over the medium term.

Africa, she said, was forecast to be the second-fastest-growing economic region in the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see sluggish growth of 3,8 percent this year. In the region, the IMF forecasts South Africa to grow by just 0,9 percent this year from 0,6 percent in 2023.

According to the World Bank, the global economy is on course to record its worst half-decade of growth in 30 years.

Global growth is forecast to slow for the third year in a row in 2024, dipping to 2,4 percent from 2,6 percent in 2023, the organization said in its latest report.

Growth is then expected to rise marginally to 2,7 percent in 2025, though acceleration over the five years will remain almost three-quarters of a percentage point below the average rate of the 2010s.

And despite the global economy proving resilient in the face of recessionary risks in 2023, increased geopolitical tensions will present fresh near-term challenges, the organisation said, leaving most economies set to grow more slowly in 2024 and 2025 than they did in the previous decade.

Herald

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