Zambia aims to limit fiscal deficit to 5.1 pct of GDP by 2021

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia plans to limit its fiscal deficit to 5.1 percent of GDP by 2021 from 7.8 percent in 2018, the ministry of finance said in a statement on Thursday.

Africa's No.2 copper producer has targeted inflation to be within the 6-8 percent range and economic growth of at least 4 percent between 2019 and 2021, it said.

Zambia intends to increase domestic revenue to not less than 19 percent of GDP and boost its international reserves to at least four months of import cover by 2021, the statement said.

The economic and fiscal reforms undertaken in the last two years had resulted in relative macroeconomic stability such as a stable exchange rate and single digit inflation, it said.

"There is an inevitable need for the nation to safeguard the positive achievements that have been recorded so far and to reign in on Government’s expenditure and debt accumulation in the medium term," it said.

Zambia's external debt rose to $9.37 billion by the end of June from $8.7 billion in December, the finance ministry said last week after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised concerns over the nation's high borrowing.

(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Toby Chopra)

2018-09-07 09:26:13

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