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Import bill still relatively high

by Stephen Jakes
08 Dec 2017 at 07:26hrs | Views
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said although there was seemingly an improvement in exports, the overall balance of payments situation remains under pressure, with foreign exchange availability to support domestic production constrained.

Announcing the 2018 national budget Chinamasa said the economy's import bill is still relatively high, with imports estimated to rise to US$6.8 billion, from US$6.4 billion in 2016.

"This is despite a sharp drop in food imports. Growth in imports is driven by increased demand for raw materials and equipment for the productive sectors of the economy, consistent with the pick-up in economic activity in 2017," said Chinamasa.

"Such high levels of import dependency, relative to estimated exports of US$4.6 billion for the year, imply continued foreign exchange imbalances, though trade statistics indicate narrowing of the trade balance. The country's current account deficit, estimated at US$1 billion, hence, remains unsustainable, and is financed mostly by debt creating flows in the form of loans being contracted by both the private and public sectors."

Source - Byo24News