EXPERTS PREDICT ECONOMIC BOOM

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BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

@SunZambian

ZAMBIA is expected to record increased offshore inflows in the near term following the potential coming of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal.

Investors are already walking back into the Zambian market on recent positive sentiments from both the IMF and Government on the progress of discussions.

This is according to a paper compiled by two Lusaka-based economists Patrick Chileshe and Gerald Soko.

In May this year, the Ministry of Finance said Zambia made positive progress towards the IMF bailout during talks to secure a lending programme.

The paper stated that slowdown in the inflation rate was expected to be determined by the performance of the Kwacha in the aftermath of the August elections and the potential coming of the IMF deal.

According to the paper, the two developments would brighten sentiments and therefore lead to increased offshore inflows.

 The paper indicated that the recent bumper harvest of 3.6 million tonnes of maize would assist slowdown the inflation rate in the near term.

This, it explained, was because the bumper harvest had resulted in the continued drop in mealie meal prices.

It also stated that given the increased production of oil seeds at the time Government has suspended value added tax on crude edible oil imports it was expected to slow down the inflationary pressures on oils and fats. This is in addition to the lifting of the fish harvest ban from natural water bodies which will lead to increased supply subsequently weigh on the pace of the price of the product.

Fish is one of products that have been identified to have contributed to the high inflation rate last month.

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