HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube on Thursday said the southern African nation’s ailing economy would contract by 4.5 percent this year due to climatic shocks and the coronavirus pandemic.
The projection is much more optimistic than that of the World Bank which last month predicted a contraction of 10 percent.
But Ncube said “a combination of government and external development support in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to alleviate deeper contraction of the economy to a projected -4.5 percent growth in 2020”.
Ncube was presenting a mid-term budget in parliament in the capital, Harare.
The country has recorded at least 1,089 cases, including 20 fatalities.
Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a downturn for over a decade with shortages of cash and basic commodities.