The International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues to be bullish on the 2017 global growth and has marginally reviewed upwards Zimbabwe's real gross domestic product projections from the -2.5% it forecast in its October 2016 outlook to 2%.
The World Bank's Global Economic Prospects report released in January had forecast that the Zimbabwean economy will grow by 3.8%. In March, government also reviewed 2017 growth from the 1.7% initially announced in the 2017 National Budget to 3.7%, following a better than expected agricultural season and firming metal prices.
Zimbabwe’s inflation, which last month surged to 0.21%, is expected by the IMF to close the year at 5%, which will be the highest annual average since dollarization.
Botswana is projected to grow by 4.1%, Malawi 4.5% and Zambia 3.5%. However, South Africa is projected to register a modest growth of 0.8%.
The IMF says significant downside risks continue to cloud the medium-term outlook and one salient threat is a turn toward protectionism which might lead to trade warfare. Zimbabwe has been having problems with neighbouring countries such as South Africa and Zambia, after imposing import controls last year.