The economy of Zambia fell into a deep recession due the adverse impact of the COVID–19 pandemic. Real GDP contracted by an estimated 4.9% in 2020, after growing by 4.0% in 2018 and 1.9% in 2019. The output contraction is the result of an unprecedented deterioration in all the key sectors of the economy. Manufacturing output fell sharply as supply chains were disrupted, while the service and tourism sectors were hurt as private consumption and investment weakened due to measures taken to contain the spread of COVID–19. Mining output, which declined initially due to falling global demand for copper, is recovering amidst production disruptions in South America. Sustained commodity price increases beyond the current forecast could lead to lower economic contraction. Even before the pandemic, the economy was experiencing serious macroeconomic challenges, such as high inflation, widening fiscal deficits, unsustainable debt levels, low international reserves, and tight liquidity conditions. Price levels and the financial sector have not stabilized, despite government efforts to deploy monetary easing in 2019 and 2020. Inflation has been rising, mainly driven by the pass-through effects of the depreciation of the kwacha and elevated food and transport prices. Following the outbreak of COVID–19, inflation rose to 17.4% in 2020 and is projected to remain above the target range of 6%–8% in 2021. The external position also worsened in 2020, with dwindling reserves (averaging 1.6 months import cover), and will remain depressed in 2021 due to copper price and output fluctuations, rising public debt payments, and elevated nonoil imports. The government’s pursuit of expansionary fiscal policy for public investments, despite falling revenues, has resulted in widening fiscal deficits (8.3% of GDP in 2019 and 11% of GDP in 2020). The expansionary fiscal policy, mainly financed by external and local borrowing, caused Zambia’s public and publicly guaranteed debt to hit 91.6% of GDP in 2019 and 104% in 2020. It will remain elevated in the medium term. (Download detailed Analysis Source : Report African Economic Outlook 2021 ; AfDB)
In June 2017, the banking sector of Zambia represented a total asset of $0.53 billion.
Credit distributed to businesses represents $2.1 billion and, more broadly, credit to private sector totaling $2.6 billion.
Lusaka Stock Exchange comprises 24 listed companies, representing, at the end of 2017, a market capitalization of $6.1 billion.
Amounts invested by private equity represents $1 million.