Growth figure ambitious: economists

The Finance Minister’s prediction that the economy will grow by nine percent is too ambitious, according to economists.

Finance Minister, Tendai Biti
Finance Minister, Tendai Biti

Even the International Monetary Fund have dismissed Minister Tendai Biti’s predictions, suggesting that a five percent growth was more realistic.

"The country's unemployment rate is above 80 percent," said a diplomat in Harare." I think the nine percent figure being regularly dished out by Minister Biti is rather too ambitious."

In Harare, an IMF official said Zimbabwe needed to repay debts owed to international creditors in order for its economic situation to improve.

"Only then can we begin to talk about growth," he told senior journalists gathered for the analysis of the World Growth Report for 2011.

A United Nations Development Programme senior official, John Mahmoud, said the country's huge debt crisis was "very worrying" and that the Mid Term Development Programme would not work unless the debt crisis was solved urgently.

Professor Anthony Hawkins from the University of Zimbabwe's School of Business Management, has also rubbished Minister Biti's ambitious prediction, saying it is “pie in the sky".

Speaking in Bulawayo, Professor Hawkins said Zimbabwe's economy would grow by only five percent because of the very tight liquidity conditions and domestic political tensions.

"More likely in 2012 is below trend growth because of the reportedly-low level of agricultural plantings, the uncertain global economy, tight market liquidity conditions and domestic political tensions," said Hawkins.

Post published in: Business

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