July 16, 2020 / 1:52 PM / a month ago

Zimbabwe economy to shrink by 4.5% this year on COVID-19, drought

July 16 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s economy is expected to shrink by 4.5% this year owing to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and a brutal climate change-related drought, the finance minister said on Thursday.

The crucial mining sector will contract by 4%, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube added in a mid-term budget speech, although he projected that GDP would rebound to 7.4% growth in 2021.

Exports, however, seemed to remain resiliant, despite the COVID-19 shock, declining only slightly to $1.53 billion in first five months of this year against $1.56 billion in the same period of last year.

He added that inflation was expected to gradually decline to 300% by December, compared with 737.36% currently. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe Editing by Tim Cocks)

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