AMBIA has recorded unprecedented economic growth for more than a decade, recording an average growth of 7.2 percent per annum, says Zambia Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (ZIPAR).
ZIPAR research fellow Gibson Masumba said the growth was also reflected in the good macro-economic aggregate.
He said the economic reforms saw donors returni ng to Zambia with balance of payment support and debt relief initiatives.
“This created fiscal space for the country and was followed by increases in public investments in education, health and infrastructure,” he said.
Making submissions to the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour, Mr Masumba said that the growth over the same period was achieved by a combination of factors.
“Zambia’s economy has been growing consistently for more than 10 years since 2000; growth has averaged 2.2 percent of the GDP with Zambia being ranked amongst the 10 fastest growing economies in the sub-Saharan Africa in 2012.
“Growth in the economy has mainly been pushed by growth in sectors such as construction, transport and communication,” he said.
Mr Masumba however said there had been a slowdown in the economy in the last few years, characterised by large fiscal imbalances and policy uncertainties.
He explained that real Gross Domestic Product growth had slowed down with the 2016 Budget aiming to achieve an annual GDP growth rate of not more than 5.0 percent.
He said this was one of the lowest growth rates Zambia had ever aimed for in the past decade.
“Budget deficits have become the order of the day. Projected to reach 6.9 percent of the GDP in 2015, the Budget deficits are a worrying sign of the fiscal difficulties that the country continues to face,” he said.
Mr Masumba said while Government aimed at maintaining single digit inflation in 2015, the last quarter of the year had already revealed one of the highest annual rates in the past 10 years.
He explained that this meant that single digit inflation would remain unattainable even in 2016