Zimbabwe to grow at 27% yearly to reach Biti's $100 billion target

Zimbabwe to grow at 27% yearly to reach Biti's $100 billion target
Published: 08 May 2018 (1004 Views)
MDC Alliance principal and former Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, has repeatedly claimed that, if elected into government, the opposition coalition would propel Zimbabwe to a $100 billion economy in eight years.

According to Zimfact, Biti told an MDC Alliance rally in Murehwa on March 24, 2018, that the $100 billion economy target could be reached in under eight years.

Zimbabwe's official 2018 budget statement, presented on December 7, 2017, estimates that the country's real gross domestic product was $14,5 billion. It projected real GDP to reach $15.2 billion this year.

Using the geometrical growth calculation formula, Zimbabwe's $15 billion economy, growing at 8 percent (or 8.5 percent for that matter), cannot possibly amount to $100 billion.

Instead, growing at 8 percent annually for the next eight years, the economy would grow to just under $28 billion.

The economy would need to grow at an astounding 27 percent per year, to expand to $100 billion in eight years.

Zimbabwe's economy has, in recent years, achieved double-digit growth. This was off a low base, following the end of a decade-long recession in 2009, when former President Robert Mugabe set up a power-sharing government with the opposition, a move which saw Biti assuming the finance minister's role.

A less complex, if less precise but generally accepted, method to project growth is the rule of 70.

The rule of 70 is used to estimate the number of years it takes for a certain variable to double. To estimate the number of years for a variable to double, the number 70 is divided by the growth rate of the variable.

Therefore, using Biti's 8 percent growth rate, it would take nine years for Zimbabwe's GDP to grow to $30 billion, which is double the economy's current size.

Zimfact concluded that Biti's claim that an MDC Alliance government would build a $100 billion economy in eight years, at an annual growth rate of 8 percent, is premised on erroneous calculations.

It would require a growth rate of 27 percent to build the current GDP to the levels envisaged by the former finance minister. Alternatively, it would take 25 years, at 8 percent growth, for Zimbabwe's current GDP to reach $100 billion.


- zimfact

Tags: Biti, MDC, Alliance,
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