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Finance minister Mthuli Ncube


Zim GDP balloons to US$47bn but then…



ZIMBABWE’S gross domestic product (GDP) is currently US$47.08 billion — meaning it has more than doubled in the past four years, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) datasets on the country.


Real GDP growth rate is forecast at 3.6% and real per capita growth at 1.6%. GDP per capita is US$2 860.

Official GDP was US$37 billion at the end of 2023 in purchasing power parity terms.
However, the IMF says despite the economy’s resilience, structural reforms aimed at improving the business climate, strengthening economic governance and reducing corruption vulnerabilities are key for promoting sustained and inclusive growth.

It says that  would bode well for supporting Zimbabwe’s development objectives embodied in the country’s National Development Strategy 1 (2021-2025).

World Economics has developed a database presenting GDP in Purchasing Power Parity terms with added estimates for the size of the informal economy and adjustments for out-of-date GDP base year data.

Zimbabwe’s GDP was US$28 billion at the end of 2022. In 2021, it was the same as 2022. However, in 2020 it was US$21.51bn.

GDP at purchaser’s prices is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products.

It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources.

 Data is in current US dollars. Dollar figures for GDP are converted from domestic currencies using single year official exchange rates.

For a few countries where the official exchange rate does not reflect the rate effectively applied to actual foreign exchange transactions, an alternative conversion factor is used.
Since last year, Zimbabwe has implemented the IMF’s Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS).

The e-GDDS is an evolutionary system reflecting changing needs of data users over time. The e-GDDS was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on July 1, 2015, following the Ninth Review of the Fund’s Data Standards Initiatives. 

The new e-GDDS Legal Text supersedes the existing rules governing the GDDS. Individual country presentations reflect the current features of the e-GDDS. It is expected that, as individual country presentations are updated (at least annually), any enhancements introduced to the system will be incorporated.

With the successful launch of a new data portal, Zimbabwe has implemented a key recommendation of the IMF’s e-GDDS to publish essential macroeconomic and financial data.

The e-GDDS is the first tier of the IMF Data Standards Initiatives that promote transparency as a global public good and encourage countries to voluntarily publish timely data that is essential for monitoring and analysing economic performance.

The implementation of the e-GDDS recommendation and the launch of the data portal — the National Summary Data Page — are a testament to Zimbabwe’s commitment to data transparency, IMF said.

The National Summary Data Page will serve as a one-stop publication for disseminating the data recommended under the e-GDDS, covering national accounts and prices, government operations and debt, the monetary and financial sector, and the external sector.

The National Summary Data Page will facilitate access for data users in Zimbabwe and abroad, including policymakers, financial sector, private investors, think tanks, and the media.

More broadly, having data in line with the e-GDDS means it should be accessible in a standardised way to facilitate analysis of economic trends across countries and to provide an early detection of risks to help avert economic crises, thus supporting sustainable economic growth and development. Thanks to the National Summary Data Page, Zimbabwe’s information has become easily accessible in both human  — and machine  — readable formats for users, resulting in greater data transparency.

It is hosted on Zimbabwe’s national Open Data Platform (ODP), which is provided by the African Development Bank, and utilises a modern data publication technology.

 A link to Zimbabwe’s National Summary Data Page is available on the IMF’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board . The data is provided by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, the ministry of Finance, and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Bert Kroese, chief statistician and data officer, and director of the IMF’s statistics department, last year welcomed this major milestone in the country’s statistical development.

“I am confident that Zimbabwe will benefit from using the e-GDDS as a framework for further development of its statistical system,” Kroese said.

The benefits, including better sovereign financing conditions for countries participating in the e-GDDS, have recently been reviewed by the IMF executive board in the context of the Tenth Review of the IMF Data Standards Initiatives.

The launch of Zimbabwe’s National Summary Data Page was supported by an IMF technical assistance project financed by the Government of Japan.

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