‘Zimbabwe economy will grow less than previous 4.6% forecast this year’

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 Zimbabwe’s economy will grow this year by less than the 4.6% previously forecast because of factors including high inflation and government spending cuts, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Monday.

Ncube did not give a new 2022 growth forecast. The 4.6% estimate was given in July during a budget review after being revised lower from an earlier forecast for 5.5% growth.

In May, Zimbabwe’s government on ordered banks to stop lending with immediate effect in a move Harare said was designed to stop speculation against the Zimbabwean dollar and was part of a raft of measures to arrest its rapid devaluation on the black market.

The southern African country reintroduced a local currency in 2019 after abandoning it in 2009 when it was hit by hyperinflation.

However, the Zimbabwean dollar, which is officially quoted at 165.94 against the U.S. dollar, has continued to slide on the black market, where it is trading between 330 and 400 to the greenback.