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Zimbabwe Economy

    Economy—overview: The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems as it struggles to consolidate earlier progress in developing a market-oriented economy. Its involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, has already drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. Badly needed support from the IMF suffers delays in part because of the country's failure to meet budgetary goals. Inflation rose from an annual rate of 25% in January 1998 to 47% in December and will almost certainly continue to increase in 1999. The economy is being steadily weakened by AIDS; Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of infection in the world. Per capita GDP, which is twice the average of the poorer sub-Saharan nations, will increase little if any in the near-term, and Zimbabwe will suffer continued frustrations in developing its agricultural and mineral resources.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$26.2 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 1.5% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,400 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 28%
    industry: 32%
    services: 40% (1997 est.)

    Population below poverty line: 25.5% (1990-91 est.)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 1.8%
    highest 10%: 46.9% (1990)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 32% (1998 est.)

    Labor force: 5 million (1997 est.)

    Labor force—by occupation: NA

    Unemployment rate: at least 45% (1994 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $2.5 billion
    expenditures: $2.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $279 million (FY96/97 est.)

    Industries: mining (coal, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), copper, steel, nickel, tin, wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages

    Industrial production growth rate: 10% (1994)

    Electricity—production: 8.5 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 71.76%
    hydro: 28.24%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 10.769 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 1 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 2.27 billion kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats, pigs

    Exports: $1.7 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, cotton (1997)

    Exports—partners: South Africa 12%, UK 11%, Germany 8%, Japan 6%, US 6% (1997 est.)

    Imports: $2 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and transport equipment 39%, other manufactures 18%, chemicals 15%, fuels 10% (1997 est.)

    Imports—partners: South Africa 37%, UK 7%, US 6%, Japan 6% (1997 est.)

    Debt—external: $5 billion (1998)

    Economic aid—recipient: $437.6 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 Zimbabwean dollar (Z$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Zimbabwean dollars (Z$) per US$1—39.3701 (January 1999), 21.4133 (1998), 11.8906 (1997), 9.9206 (1996), 8.6580 (1995), 8.1500 (1994)

    Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)