Zimbabwe budget deficit unsustainable


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Zimbabwe’s budget deficit will more than double to 11.1 percent of gross domestic product this year from an initial forecast of 5 percent due to runaway government spending, a senior treasury official said yesterday.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government cranked up spending by increasing public sector salaries and purchasing farming inputs for rural farmers ahead of a disputed 30 July harmonised elections.

The southern African nation is facing an acute shortage of dollars that has stifled imports and sent prices soaring.

George Guvamatanga, the Permanent Secretary for Finance said the government planned to reduce spending by, among other measures, cutting its wage bill by $330 million between 2019 and 2020.

“A double digit budget deficit Mr Chairman is not sustainable,” Guvamatanga told a parliamentary committee.

Guvamatanga said government revenues were set to rise to $5.7 billion this year compared with an initial projection of $5 billion. The figure would rise to $6.4 billion next year, Guvamatanga said, adding this showed the economy was performing.

Zimbabwe’s statistics agency this month rebased some of its economic statistics, in an unexpected move that increased the nominal size of the struggling economy by more than 40 percent. – The Source

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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