Democratic Republic of Congo has cut its economic growth forecast for 2016 to 4.3 percent, compared with 6.9 percent last year, due to the impact of low commodity prices on its mining-dependent economy, the prime minister’s office said on Thursday.
Africa’s top producer of copper relies on its mining and smaller oil industry for about 95 percent of its export earnings. In June, the government slashed its budget by 22 percent in response to low commodity revenues.
Thursday’s downgrade from a June estimate of 5.3 percent growth is the third of the year. The government had originally predicted 9 percent growth.
Copper output slumped 14 percent in the first half of the year. Production of cobalt, the metal used in lithium-ion batteries and of which Congo is the world’s leading producer, slid by 13 percent over the same period.
The statement from the prime minister’s office forecast inflation of 3.3 percent this year, up from less than 1 percent last year, as a shortage of dollars causes the country’s franc currency to depreciate.