Zambia Economic Forecast

Zambia Economic Outlook

February 20, 2018

Economic growth likely accelerated in the final quarter of last year, powered by a surge in exports over the previous quarter. Higher overseas sales of copper—the nation’s top export commodity—drove the upturn. Notably, the trade balance swung to surplus in the fourth quarter from a deteriorating deficit in the first three quarters of 2017. The external sector’s improved contribution to growth for the third consecutive month in December came despite reduced exports in the month, as a marked contraction in imports widened the trade surplus. Seeking to bring the nation’s debt dynamics on track amid warnings from the IMF, the cabinet approved plans to restructure loans owed to China on 13 February. The debt will be financed by sourcing funds directly from Chinese lenders to cut borrowing costs.

Zambia Economic Growth

An upturn in growth is expected this year thanks to buoyant investment inflows, robust agricultural and mining output, and a healthy external sector. That said, risks continue to stem from the country’s sizeable external debt. FocusEconomics panelists expect economic growth of 4.6% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 4.6% again in 2019.

Zambia Economy Data

Population (million)14.815.215.716.216.7
GDP per capita (USD)1,7251,8011,6611,0461,299
GDP (USD bn)25.527.526.117.021.7
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)8.4-1.925.0-  -  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-2.8-6.2-5.8-9.5-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)24.925.933.357.5-  
Money (annual variation in %)30.011.811.324.90.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)9.259.7512.5015.5015.50
Exchange Rate (vs USD)5.205.556.4011.009.93
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)5.145.396.168.6610.31
Current Account (% of GDP)2.3-0.82.1-4.5-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)0.60.1-0.3-0.8-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)
Exports (USD billion)9.410.
Imports (USD billion)8.810.
Exports (annual variation in %)3.812.7-8.9-28.0-11.4
Imports (annual variation in %)22.915.2-6.4-13.51.8
International Reserves (USD)

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Zambia Facts

Bond Yield19.130.0 %Feb 22
Exchange Rate9.830.0 %Feb 22
Stock Market0.20.0 %Feb 22

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