LUSAKA, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Zambia on Wednesday revised downward its 2019 economic growth target due to a number of risks.
Bwalya Ng'andu, Finance Minister, said the government has projected the economy to grow between two to three percent in 2019 but gradually pick up in 2020.
In the 2019 national budget, the government had projected the economy to grow at four percent.
The finance minister said in his economic update for the second quarter that among the risk factors to growth include the current power cuts, continued lower investment and subdued commodity prices which may affect copper production as well as climate change challenges affecting agricultural production.
He however said preliminary data indicates that the economy grew by 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019, mainly driven by the wholesale and retail sectors, information and communication sectors as well as the financial and insurance sectors while mining and agriculture was subdued.
On Tuesday, the World Bank revised the country's economic growth for 2019 to 2.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the country's external debt grew to 10.23 billion U.S. dollars as at June 2019 compared to 10.18 billion dollars at end of March 2019.