LUSAKA, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government on Wednesday expressed optimism that the country would attain the projected 4.3 economic growth for this year.
Minister of Finance Felix Mutati said the government was confident of attaining the growth going by the positive economic trends recorded in the first half of the year.
"This is mainly driven by observed growth in the major sectors of agriculture, mining, construction, transport and storage, and the wholesale, and retail trade," he said in a mid-year review performance statement.
Increased electricity generation will also contribute to the positive perspective and support growth in other sectors, he added.
He further expressed optimism that the 2017 budget deficit will be maintained at budgeted levels of around 7 percent due to improved revenue collection recorded in the first half and efforts being undertaken to restrain expenditure.
The minister pointed out reduced inflation, appreciation of the local currency against other currencies and the continued strong copper prices as among factors that point to an improved economic growth this year.
"The fundamentals in the economy have improved over the first half of 2017. However, this does not mean that economic players should relax. We have to stay on our feet and consolidate our gains in meeting our priority objective of stabilizing and growing the Zambian economy," he said.