By amb. Emmanuel Mwamba
ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL REPORT FEARS POPULAR PROTESTS IN ZAMBIA
The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has issued its political and economic outlook on Zambia for 2023.
The forecast for 2023 gives grim economic picture and fears popular protests against government due high cost of living.
“An uptick in popular protests is likely.”
The report also states that President Hichilema will likely not be re-elected unless he deals with corruption in his Government among other things.
“An effective move against corruption is needed, if Mr Hichilema is to be re-elected in 2026.”
The 2022 IMF Country Report on Zambia also predicted civil unrest due to the high cost of living and political tensions.
Below are among forecast by the EIU.
• The economic outlook is less favourable in the short term, owing to belt-tightening measures.
The economic outlook is less favourable in the short term, owing to belt-tightening measures.
•High inflation, monetary tightening and undercapitalisation of major copper mines will keep growth low this year and next.
• We expect stronger growth in 2025-27 as rising mining output boosts exports and fiscal consolidation supports investor confidence.
• Zambia’s inflation rate will remain stubbornly high in 2023, at 10.4%. This is relatively high well above our forecast of 4.3% for Tanzania and 5.7% for South Africa. Inflation will stay above the 6-8% target ceiling until 2025 amid tight local food supply.
• Zambia will run a current-account surplus in 2023-27, aided by high copper prices and reduced external debt repayments.
• Capital inflows will strengthen, once a debt-restructuring deal is reached and new capital inflows, including FDI, rise.
• Zambia is heavily dependent on copper exports for foreign-exchange earnings and government revenue.
• High global copper prices will support fiscal consolidation, subject to the risk that a plunge in copper prices would negatively affect the fiscal balance. Key indicators 2022a 2023b 2024b 2025b 2026b
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