As the Zambian national currency, Kwacha, depreciated further on Monday, President Michael Sata has said increased economic activities in the productive sectors, such as mining, should support improved performance of the foreign exchange market.
“I am confident that with increased output in the growth sectors, Zambia’s external sector is projected to improve supported by continued growth of non-traditional exports which include: copper wire, burley tobacco, cane sugar, fresh flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, electricity, petroleum products, cement and lime, and electric cables,” President Sata said Monday on his Facebook posting.
He said during the year, economic growth would be driven by developments in the agricultural sector largely on account of the good weather and the government’s farmer input support programme, while further growth in output is expected to come from manufacturing and mining.
Sata maintained that the country’s economic outlook for 2014 remains strong and aims to achieve real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of above 7 percent; attain end-year inflation of no more than 6.5 percent; increase international reserves to cover 3 months of imports; and contain overall budget deficit to no more than 6.6 percent of GDP.
The Kwacha was Monday trading at K6.0590 and K6.0690 per US dollar for buying and selling respectively. On Friday the Kwacha was trading at K6.0108 and K6.0208 to the dollar.
The Bank of Zambia last week disclosed that it had sold US$178 million to the market in order to support the relatively-low supply of foreign exchange and moderate volatility in the foreign exchange market.
According to the central bank, as at 10 March 2014, the Kwacha had depreciated against the US dollar by 7.8 percent to trade at an average of K5.9406 per US Dollar, from an average of K5.5126 per US dollar at the close of December 2013.