Zimbabwe has a net foreign currency surplus but Mnangagwa’s figures don’t seem to add up


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Zimbabwe exported goods valued at $5.661 billion up to 16 November and paid out $4.054 billion leaving a surplus of $1.6 billion but President Emmerson Mnangagwa gave the positive net position as $1.937billion.

This was, however, a major improvement from last year when foreign currency receipts totaled $4.822 billion while payment stood at $4.264 billion. The President gave the surplus as $582.9 million but the math seem to add up to $558 million.

“Without understating our external obligations, these figures point to a good trend which if consolidated and complemented by resolute fiscal consolidation measures which were announced in the 2019 budget, will certainly see our economy recovering much faster,” Mnangagwa said in his weekly column.

He, however, said what was disturbing was the amount spent on consumption goods which stood at $839.4 million.

He said although this was lower than the 2017 figure of $1.055 billion it was still too high considering that only $883.5 million was spent on capital goods, and another of $705.5 million on intermediate goods imports.

“Our spending on imported consumer goods should never come anywhere near our spending on capital and intermediate goods,” he said.

“I raise this worry because our economy grows on greater investments on capital goods and intermediate goods. It cannot grow on consumer imports.”

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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