Zimbabwe’s economy to contract in 2019 – finance minister

Zimbabwe finance minister Mthuli Ncube presents his budget statementon November 22, 2018 in Harare.

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s economy is expected to contract this year due to a drought and severe power cuts, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Thursday, without providing a figure.

The country had initially forecast the economy to grow 3.1% in 2019.

Ncube also said Zimbabwe would defer publication of year-on-year inflation until February 2020 following the adoption of a new currency in June.

Prices of basic goods and services have more than doubled since June, piling pressure on citizens struggling with shortages. That has stirred memories of economic chaos a decade ago, when rampant money-printing fuelled hyperinflation and forced the country to abandon its currency in 2009.