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Zimbabwe sees 2016 budget deficit nearly 800 pct higher than forecast

PUBLISHED: Thu Dec 08 2016 | Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:41:12 GMT

Zimbabwe expects its 2016 fiscal budget deficit to widen to $1.18 billion, nearly eight times more than it forecast a year ago, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in a budget speech on Thursday.

Chinamasa had pencilled in a deficit of $150 million in November 2016, equivalent to 1.1 percent of GDP, and said it would be financed via domestic borrowing.

Zimbabwe halves 2016 growth forecast, budget deficit widens

Zimbabwe’s economy will grow by 0.6 percent in 2016, half the previous forecast, but will recover next year, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said in a budget speech on Thursday.

Chinamasa said the budget deficit for the 2017 fiscal year was estimated at $400 million, equivalent to 3 percent of GDP, up from 1.1 percent in this year.

The southern African nation is grappling with a devastating drought that has left more than 4 million people facing hunger, while the worst financial crisis in seven years has fuelled some of the biggest anti-government protests in a decade.

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