Tue, 27 Jul 2021

HARARE, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's economy is projected to grow by 3.9 percent in 2021 after a two-year recession, the World Bank said Thursday.

The Bank projected Zimbabwe's economy to have contracted by an estimated 8.1 percent in 2019 and 8 percent in 2020 owing to a combination of significant macroeconomic challenges, drought, cyclone Idai and the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the World Bank Zimbabwe Economic Update (ZEU) launched Thursday, growth in 2021 will be led by a recovery in agriculture after good rains, slowing inflation, and adjustment of businesses to limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"However, disruptions caused by the pandemic will continue to weigh on economic activity in Zimbabwe, limiting employment growth and improvements in living standards," the World Bank said.

It said that economic recovery is expected to strengthen in 2022 with Gross Domestic Product projected at 5.1 percent as the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines intensifies.

"While we are fully aligned on the upward direction of the economic growth, we are more conservative in our assessment of the magnitude of the economic growth.

"Our conservatism reflects the higher level of risk that we anticipate; in the projection, for example, we view the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine hesitancy, price and exchange rate developments, as well as the limited access to financing from both domestic and external sources as risks to the recovery," said WB country manager Mukami Kariuki.

The Zimbabwean government, however, is projecting the economy to grow by 7.4 percent this year on the back of increased agricultural output.

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