Zambia: Economy Grows By 6.5 Percent

The Times of Zambia (Ndola)

2 January 2012

ZAMBIA posted an economic growth rate of 6.5 per cent in 2011 marginally surpassing the revised projected growth of 6.4 per cent, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) has announced.

The 2011 economic growth rate is however, less than what Zambia achieved in 2010 when the economy grew by 7.6 per cent, far more than the 6.6 per cent it was projected to grow.

CSO director John Kalumbi said in Lusaka that the 6.5 per cent growth was mainly driven by new investments and increased output in various sectors of the economy including agriculture which had been identified as Zambia’s biggest bet for economic diversification process.

“Zambia’s economy has grown by 6.5 per cent in 2011. This growth is driven by increased output in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, transport and communication, construction and trade sectors,” he said.

Mr Kalumbi said conspicuously missing from the sectors that have helped the economy perform well was the mining sector, whose performance in 2011 had been far below expectation after last year posting record copper output.

Zambia’s economy has for the last six years been growing with the high growth recorded in 2010 where copper output of more than 800, 000 tonnes helped the economy to move positively.

However, the lowest performance was in 2008, coinciding with the global economic crisis and low copper output which saw the economy grow by 5.7 per cent lower than the 6.2 per cent recorded two years earlier.

Mr Kalumbi said the tertiary sector recorded the highest growth rate at 6.9 per cent with the secondary sector closely following at 6.4 per cent.

The primary sector growth is at 4.8 per cent.

As the inflation rate was posting impressive figures at 7.2 per cent in 2011, the national trade balance sheet equally remained bullish, registering yet another trade surplus of K315.9 billion for November which grew by a whopping 68.4 per cent from the October balance sheet.

“Zambia recorded a trade surplus recorded at K315.9 billion in November 2011, representing an increase of 68.4 per cent from the K187.5 billion recorded in October 2011.

This means Zambia exported more in November than imported in the same month,” he said.

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Zambia: Economy Grows By 6.5 Percent