Zimbabwe manufacturing still operating at less than half capacity

Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector which should be the backbone of the economy is still operating at less than half its capacity.  It therefore contributed only 7.6 percent of the country’s export shipments which amounted to $2.2 billion.

Mining accounted for 64.5 percent followed by tobacco which contributed 17.2 percent and agriculture, 8.4 percent.

The central bank says manufacturing is estimated to have grown by only 2.7 percent in 2010. It was operating at 43.7 percent of its capacity in the first half of last year. This was a slight improvement from the previous year when it was operating at 32.3 percent.

Improvements in agriculture which grew by 34 percent last year and is expected to continue on its recovery path this year could stimulate manufacturing activity and the sector is expected to grow by 5.7 percent this year.

Major constraints for the sector include shortage of working capital, obsolete equipment, inadequate power supply, unsustainable wage demands, low domestic demand and competition from imports.

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