June 21, 2017 / 7:27 AM / a month ago

Bumper harvest lifts Zimbabwe 2017 growth outlook to 2.8 pct

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HARARE, June 21 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's economy will grow 2.8 percent this year, from 0.7 percent in 2016, due mainly to a bumper maize harvest as the impoverished southern African nation recovers from severe drought, the World Bank said on Wednesday.

However, Harare's total debt stock would continue to grow, it added in an economic report, putting pressure on long-time president Robert Mugabe's government to stick to commitments to bring down fiscal deficits ahead of national elections in 2018.

"While a good harvest is projected to boost GDP in 2017, sustaining robust long-term growth will require addressing underlying fiscal and financial sector imbalance," the bank said. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Writing by Mfuneko Toyana; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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