Zambia Economic Forecast

Zambia Economic Outlook

April 26, 2022

The economy ended 2021 on a strong footing: GDP expanded an annual 2.1% in Q4, softening from Q3’s 3.3% growth—largely on a smaller base effect. This brought overall growth to 4.4% for the year, as activity recovered from the prior year’s pandemic-induced downturn. However, dynamics should have slowed in Q1 2022, as private-sector conditions deteriorated on average. Moreover, private spending was likely in a tough spot: While merchandise imports expanded strongly in January–February, price pressures continued to build up—despite gradually easing—and private-sector employment levels dropped somewhat. More positively, as commodity prices remained elevated, production of copper—the country’s key export—will have supported the external sector. This bodes well for public finances and fiscal deficit reduction, amid investment plans to continually ramp up copper production.

Zambia Economic Growth

Growth is set to be robust this year: President Hichilema’s efforts to fight corruption, coupled with business-friendly policies, should support sentiment and attract investment. This also bodes well for a debt-restructuring deal, which would grant access to external credit lines. Lastly, high copper prices will bolster the external sector and support public coffers. FocusEconomics panelists see GDP growing 2.9% in 2022, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.1% in 2023.

Zambia Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)16.216.717.217.818.3
GDP per capita (USD)1,5081,2931,5661,608-  
GDP (USD bn)24.521.627.028.6-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)  
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-9.5-6.1-7.7-8.3-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)62.360.761.978.1-  
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)11.009.9310.0111.9414.09
Policy Interest Rate (%)15.5015.5010.259.7511.50
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)8.6610.319.5410.4812.92
Current Account (% of GDP)-2.3-3.2-1.6-1.2-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-0.6-0.7-0.4-0.30.2
Trade Balance (USD billion)
Exports (USD billion)
Imports (USD billion)
Exports (annual variation in %)-28.0-
Imports (annual variation in %)-16.0-12.515.217.4-23.7
International Reserves (USD)

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Zambia Facts

Value Change Date
Bond Yield33.000.0 %Dec 31
Exchange Rate14.090.0 %Jan 01
Stock Market0.30.0 %Jan 06

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