| January 15, 2018

GABORONE, The World Bank expects Botswana's economy to grow by 4.7% this year, an upgrade from the bank's previous forecast of 4.2% issued in June last year.

The latest forecasts are contained in the bank's Global Economic Prospects report released on Wednesday. The World Bank's researchers also revised upwards their estimates for Botswana's 2017-2018 growth from four percent to 4.5%.

The latest revisions are, however, still below the finance ministry's own forecasts as contained in the September Budget Strategy Paper.

The ministry expects 2017-2018 growth at 4.7% and 2018 growth to reach 5.3%. World Bank researchers said growth in the sub-Saharan region would be powered by resurgent commodity prices during the year.

A modest recovery is underway in sub-Saharan Africa, supported by an improvement in commodity prices, researchers noted.

The region is projected to see a pickup in activity over the forecast horizon, on the back of firming commodity prices and gradually strengthening domestic demand.

However, given demographic and investment trends, structural reforms would be needed to boost potential growth over the next decade.

In Southern Africa, the World Bank forecast for 2018-2019 means Botswana will have the third highest growth rate after Angola (six percent) and Malawi (five percent). The lowest forecast growth for the region is expected in Zimbabwe with 0.9%, followed by South Africa with 1.1% and Swaziland with 1.9%. World Bank researchers said the forecasts were subject to both downside and upside risks.

Downside risks include the possibilities that commodity prices will remain weak, global financing conditions will tighten disorderly, and regional political uncertainty and security tensions will intensify. On the upside, a stronger-than-expected pickup in global activity could further boost exports, investment, and growth in the region, the report reads.


Category: General

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