The economy seemingly lost momentum in Q4. The private-sector PMI remained in negative terrain during the quarter, indicating that business operating conditions worsened. Moreover, inflation accelerated in monthly terms throughout the period, likely denting private spending. Turning to this year, an over one-year high PMI reading in January signals that the economy is picking up steam. That said, February’s interest rate hike should constrain activity going forward. In other news, in late January, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva visited the country. The director highlighted Zambia’s commitment to reforms and encouraged creditors to agree on debt restructuring terms as soon as possible. Meanwhile, top lender China stated that it wants multilateral development banks to provide debt relief to the country, a policy that the World Bank explicitly rejected.
Zambia International Reserves (months of imports) Data
|International Reserves (months of imports)||3.4||2.2||2.7||3.0||5.2|