KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka
ZAMBIA is anticipated to register an increased current account deficit of US$ 945.8 million for 2015 compared to US$383.4 million in 2014, due to a reduction in the balance of payment (BoP), which is the method countries use to monitor all international monetary transactions at a specific period of time.
Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Denny Kalyalya said the balance on goods surplus is anticipated to decline by 76 percent from almost US$1.63 billion US$389.5 million, triggered by a higher decline in export earnings relative to imports.
Preliminary data for 2015 show that the current account deficit which is a measurement of a countryâ€™s trade in which the value of goods and services it imports exceeds the value of goods and services it exports, is expected to widen to US$ 945.8 million from US$383.4 million registered the previous year.
â€œ[Zambiaâ€™s] performance of BoP in recent years has been unfavourable, and that this is evidenced by the widening of the current account deficit in 2015, compared to the shortfall recorded in 2014, despite recording higher financial inflowsâ€.
â€œThe country has been having a current account deficit which has widened significantly particularly in 2015, resulting in sharp depreciation of the Kwacha against other major currencies,â€ Dr Kalyalya told the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates.
The committee was discussing the performance of Zambiaâ€™s BoP last week which was chaired by Bweengwa member of Parliament Highvie Hamududu. Dr Kalyalya projects that exports are expected to decline by 23.7 percent mainly as a result of lower copper, cobalt and non-traditional export earnings.
He attributed the decline in copper prices on the international market to a slowdown in global demand as export earnings are projected to subsequently decrease from about US$7.62 billion in 2014 to US$5.67 billion in 2015, representing a 25.5 percent.
â€œOn a year-to-date basis in (September) copper export earnings declined by 27.6 percent to US$4, 116.38 from US$5,682.9 million in 2014. The year-to -year copper export volumes fell by 8.8 percent to 774,813.1 metric tonnes in 2015 from 849, 56.3 recorded the previous year. The realised average copper price declined by 20.6 percent to US$5,312.7 per tonne from US$ 6,687.7 per tonne recorded in 2014,â€ Dr Kalyalya said.
KELLY NJOMBO, Lusaka