Positive forecast for 2017 economic activities

Stanbic Bank has projected a stronger and more stable economy at the backdrop of the central bank has putting in place various monetary measures to prop up the economy.

Victor Chileshe Stanbic Bank’s Head of Global Markets says the current economic trajectory shows that the country is effectively dealing with the economic shocks it suffered for most of 2015 and 2016 from power deficits, low copper prices, weak exchange rates and economic uncertainty caused by general elections.

“The economy is projected to grow by 4.2 percent this year, and key to this is what happens in the mining sector, we have had more rains and we are likely to have more consistent power supply to the mines thus Copper prices are also likely to hold firm,” Chileshe said.

He said forecast do not show shocks of 2015 and 2016 coming through this year, adding that the extractive industries can now focus on driving their efficiencies and making their operations more robust to be able to survive any price eventualities the London Metal Exchange will bring to them.

Chileshe said the bank projected prices to breach US$6,500 later in 2017 and that the bank’s view was strengthened by happenings in the global economy, with an expected growth in refined copper production in China, the world’s largest consumer of copper.

Stanbic Bank also expects the local currency to be fairly stable this year on the back of a stable mining industry.

Meanwhile Helen Lubamba Stanbic’s Head of Corporate and Investment Banking says the Zambian economy had come stronger out of the recent external shocks it suffered.

“We are seeing some green shoots that play key role in informing our optimism for 2017. Copper prices are higher and more stable; the currency has also strengthened and is more stable,” Lubamba said.

She said as a result of the stability, inflation, interest rates as well as yields on government bonds and treasury bills were steadily declining.

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