Zambia Economic Forecast

Zambia Economic Outlook

April 16, 2019

The economy slowed markedly in the final stretch of 2018, growing at the weakest pace in three years in the fourth quarter (Q4: +2.5% year-on-year; Q3: +5.6% yoy). A sharper downturn in agricultural, forestry and fishing activity, which contracted more than 30%, led the weakening. Moreover, the mining and quarrying sector lost steam for the third quarter running, as cooling growth in key trading partners—notably in China—led to a sizeable fall in the overseas sales of copper, swinging the current account to deficit in Q4. Turning to Q1 2019, the picture remained downbeat: Exports declined more markedly in the first two months, international reserves continued to fall on rising external debt servicing payments in January, while private sector activity, on the whole, seems to have contracted in the quarter.

Zambia Economic Growth

A more challenging external backdrop will likely cause export growth to slow and, in turn, an overall loss of momentum this year. Moreover, price pressures are expected to climb and weigh on private consumption, while concerns remain elevated over the economy’s ability to finance its hefty external debt burden and the risks they pose to wider macroeconomic stability. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to grow 3.4% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 3.6% in 2020.

Zambia Economy Data

Population (million)15.215.716.216.717.2
GDP per capita (USD)1,8011,6611,0461,2931,563
GDP (USD bn)27.526.117.021.626.9
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-6.2-5.7-9.3-5.8-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)  
Money (annual variation in %)11.811.324.90.120.7
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)7.17.921.17.56.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)7.07.810.117.96.6
Exchange Rate (vs USD)5.556.4011.009.9310.01
Policy Interest Rate (%)9.7512.5015.5015.5010.25
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)5.396.168.6610.319.54
Current Account (% of GDP)-0.82.2-4.9-4.3-2.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-0.20.6-0.8-0.9-0.7
Trade Balance (USD billion)0.0-0.1-1.4-1.0-0.6
Exports (USD billion)
Imports (USD billion)
Exports (annual variation in %)10.0-8.7-27.3-7.625.0
Imports (annual variation in %)20.2-7.5-13.5-11.015.7
International Reserves (USD)

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Zambia Facts

Bond Yield26.000.0 %Apr 12
Exchange Rate12.320.0 %Apr 12
Stock Market0.10.0 %Apr 12

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