Economic expert, Dr Prosper Chitambara has urged authorities to take more action if the economy is to attain sustained Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates amid warnings that current power outages may further reverse the progress made so far.
He made the remarks in the wake of the Dissemination of the Quarterly GDP Estimates Report for the period 2019 – 2022 released Monday by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) showing an inconsistent economic growth rate pattern.
GDP is a measurement which captures a country’s economic output with countries with larger GDPs having a greater amount of goods and services generated within them, and will generally have a higher standard of living.
For this reason, many citizens and political leaders see GDP growth as an important measure of national success, often referring to GDP growth and economic growth interchangeably
“Quarterly growth rates over the period 2019 to 2022 shows quarterly fluctuations in economic activity.
“In 2022, the first quarter recorded a slowdown of minus 16,1% with sustained recoveries of 3,6%, 5,6% and 6,8% respectively for the three remaining quarters,” the report said.
The report shows that economic growth went down to minus 10,9% in the first quarter of 2020 and minus 13,2 % in the second quarter before growing by 3,3% and 20,6% in the third and fourth quarter respectively.
Notably, the economy recorded sustained growth from the second quarter of 2022 up to the final quarter.
The agriculture sector registered negative growth in the first three quarters of 2022 only to record 9,7% in the final quarter with the mining sector demonstrating resilience after recording growth within the three quarters.
The manufacturing sector was also resilient in the year 2022 after significant growth in the first three quarters.
Analysing the figures, Chitambara commended a trajectory of sustained growth in the three quarters of 2022 but expressed worries over the fact that the country’s growth rates are not sustained.
“Some of the bad performance recorded during the years between 2019 and 2021 were largely caused by the impact of the Covid19 pandemic shocks which were quite prolonged with notable developments being visible from the second quarter of 2022 right up to year end.
“However, with the Vision 2030 in mind it has to be noted that our growth rates are still way below attainment of the targets. The economy can only go that far if it grows by a margin of 10% per annum which should have been sustained since the inception of economic reforms,” he said