ZIMBABWE’S economy is expected to contract by 7.1 percent, latest data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows.
This is the country’s first Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contraction since 2008 when the country was ravaged by hyper-inflation.
This projection is 0.6 percentage points higher than the 6,5 percent economic contraction forecast two weeks ago by Zimbabwe’s Finance minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube.
According to the Bretton Woods Institution’s global economic outlook released on Tuesday, Zimbabwe’s economy is projected to rebound by 2,7 percent in 2020, against the 4,6 percent economic growth forecast by treasury.
Initially, Prof Ncube had forecast a 3,1 percent growth for 2019 in his budget last year, which he then revised to a 2,1 percent contraction during a mid-term review on August 1.
Zimbabwe is presently battling triple-digit inflation and a power crisis that has seen fuel prices increasing weekly, while industry is plunged into darkness for an average of 16 hours and ordinary people are feeling the sting of shrinking disposable incomes.
To compound this, the country is also grappling with a foreign exchange shortage that has seen the local currency falling against the greenback.
In September, the IMF said Zimbabwe had plunged into recession.