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International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Concludes Visit to Zambia

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An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Dhaneshwar Ghura visited Lusaka during November 13–19, 2019 to discuss recent economic developments and the economic outlook for 2020 and the medium term.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Ghura issued the following statement:

“Macroeconomic outcomes have weakened as a difficult fiscal position combined with a severe drought have resulted in projected growth slowing to below 2 percent and an increased risk of food insecurity. Discussions covered both near and medium-term policy options to address these challenges, including the main elements of the draft 2020 budget being currently debated in Parliament. In line with the 2019 Article IV consultation, IMF staff stressed the need for a large, front-loaded and sustained fiscal adjustment that would help set debt on a downward path and reduce domestic arrears. Spending commitments should also be prioritized in order to meet key development priorities including supporting vulnerable populations.

“The IMF staff met with H.E. President Lungu, Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu, Bank of Zambia Governor Denny Kalyalya, other senior government and Bank of Zambia officials; and representatives of the private sector, civil society organizations, and Zambia’s development partners.

“The staff wishes to express its gratitude to the Zambian authorities and the various stakeholders for the constructive spirit in which all discussions were held.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).