A car drives past a construction site of the Central Business District (CBD) in the capital Gaborone, Botswana

Botswana forecasts slower economic growth, deficit unchanged

GABORONE (Reuters) - Botswana's economy is expected to expand at a slower pace in 2019 compared with last year, Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo said on Monday.

The diamond-producing southern African nation's economy is projected to slow down, expanding by 4.2 percent in 2019 from 4.5 percent last year, Matambo said in his 2019 budget speech to parliament.

The 2019 budget deficit is estimated at 3.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the same as 2018's estimated shortfall, Matambo said.

"The slower economic growth means less revenues will be realized and this calls expenditure control for the country to remain on path fiscal sustainability," he said.

Matambo said total expenditure and net lending for the 2019/20 financial year was estimated at 67.54 billion pula ($6.50 billion), whilst total revenue and grants were estimated at 60.20 billion pula.

Mineral revenue was still the highest contributor to revenue, representing 35.62 percent, he said.

($1 = 10.3950 pulas)

(Reporting by Brian Benza; Writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by James Macharia)

First Published: 2019-02-04 15:03:13
Updated 2019-02-04 16:00:12

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