Zimbabwean government set to revise economic growth rate projections




Prof Mthuli Ncube

THE Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) convened a currency indaba in Harare this Thursday to find a lasting solution to exchange rate volatility and ways of cushioning consumers against rising prices of goods and services.

The meeting comes as the country is grappling with a number of challenges ranging from imported inflation to global tension which has seen prices of goods and services rising sharply.

The exchange rate volatility has come under scrutiny, with the parallel market rate going beyond ZWL$500 against USD$1.

This prompted the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) to host a currency indaba where government, industry and commerce as well as political parties converged to find a lasting solution.

POLAD Economic Affairs Committee Chairman, Mr Trust Chikohora said the indaba sought to find consensus on the challenges facing the economy.

“We had the currency indaba to make sure that all hands are on the deck on the way forward considering that currency volatility has been a major topic. We will present all these to the President to ensure that he has an understanding on what was deliberated,” he said.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, who also attended the indaba, said world economic developments, have had a negative impact on the country’s economy despite the fact that all the fundamentals are correct.

“We are going to revise our projected growth rate for this year. As you might be aware, the World Bank, IMF, AfDB have already revised the growth projections. We are going to revise growth downwards mainly driven by agriculture. Our fundamentals are correct; it’s only arbitrage by retailers.

“Dual currency is going to be with us for a very long time. Introducing USD as monocurrency will wipe out banks, will wipe out company accounts, so we are not taking that route. The foreign currency auction system has done well by injecting US$2.2 billion in the manufacturing sector, hence an increase in industrial capacity utilisation,” he said.

The global economy is sneezing as prices of natural gas and oil have increased due to global tension which is expected to slow down world economic growth rate.