Saturday, December 26, 2009

StanChart optimistic on 6% GDP growth

StanChart optimistic on 6% GDP growth
By Fridah Zinyama
Fri 25 Dec. 2009, 04:00 CAT

STANDARD Chartered Bank has expressed optimism that the country will attain the six per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which the Central Statistical Office had indicated could be achieved by the end of the year.

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) had in October revealed that the country would attain a GDP rate of 6.3 per cent which would be propelled by growth in the mining, agriculture and construction sectors.

In an interview, Standard Chartered Bank head of Zambia Global Markets Dealing Stanley Tamele said experts in the economy were optimistic that the country would attain a 5.8 per cent growth rate if not the 6 per cent which was projected all things being equal.

“At the moment, we strongly believe that the mining and construction sectors have greatly contributed to this growth rate,” he said. “This is because of the good copper prices which have persisted over the past few months.”

Tamele said the meeting of production targets by the mining sector was still likely to contribute to the growth of the GDP next year as well.

Earlier, Tamele had observed that the original gross domestic product (GDP) of 5 per cent which government had projected was more attainable than the 6.3 per cent which the CSO had released.

“The revised GDP growth rate for Zambia, for 2009 is 4.3 per cent which is attainable,” he noted. “Furthermore, the original target of 5 per cent may not be a far off reality...”

Tamele had said the year had opened off on a negative note as this was the height of the global financial crisis but there had been tremendous recovery in Zambia mainly due to the copper prices that have now risen to levels that were not expected to be attained during the financial crisis.

“Zambia is still highly dependant on copper and the current prices that are above the US$6500 per tonne are favourable to the economy as that is above break even levels for the mines. The end result is a positive growth,” said Tamele.

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