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VENTURES AFRICA – Zambia’s deficit is expected to increase to 8.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on the back of lower global copper prices this year, it emerged on Tuesday.
“The prices for this commodity have generally been lower this year relative to last year, due to the sluggish growth in the world economy,” Kelvin Chisanga, business development manager at Allterrain Services (ATS), confirmed in a note on Tuesday.
The low prices of copper have been slow-paced since the middle of June this year, pulling down the economy of the southern African country, according to Chisanga.
He said global copper prices slumped from an average range of $7,960 per metric tonne last year to $7,416 between January and September this year.
But Chisanga claimed Zambia’s economic prospects for next year were promising, given the government’s commitment to come up with strategies aimed at improving the economy’s performance.
“Inflation will fall in the range always wanted by most governments but experts still say that this will not be good enough for this year with the monetary policy aimed at achieving an end-year inflation of 6 percent,” Chisanga concluded.
Meanwhile, Africa’s biggest economy’s current-account deficit enlarged to 6.8 percent of GDP during the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing the South African Reserve Bank’s Quarterly Report.
It said this was the widest gap in more than half a decade.