Mozambique economy to grow 8.2 percent in 2006, government says

14 December 2005

Maputo, Mozambique, 14 Dec – Mozambique’s economy should grow by 8.2 percent in 2006, beyond the rate forecast by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), driven by increased exports and investment in infrastructures, the Mozambican Minister for Planning and Development said Wednesday.

Minister Aiuba Cuereneia, speaking at the ceremony marking the end of the financial year at the Mozambique Chamber of Trade and Industry, also said that Mozambique’s exports were expected to reach US$1.803 next year, a 15 percent increase on the year-end forecast for 2005.

In relation to the economy’s progress this year Cuereneia said he considered the level of investment that had been reached by September to be, “satisfactory.”

In total, he said, the Mozambican authorities had approved 101 direct investment projects between January and September, which were expected to create around 7,500 new jobs.

Cuereneia added that it had been possible to keep inflation at 5.2 percent this year, despite a 40 percent increase in fuel prices.

Minister Cuereneia said he was convinced that Mozambique’s currency, the Metical, would recover from a 31 percent drop in value against the US dollar and a 15.2 percent fall against the South African rand, both recorded between January and September.

The IMF has forecast Mozambique’s gross domestic product for 2005 to reach 159.9 billion metical, a 7.4 percent increase over 2004. It expects GDP will grow by 7.7 percent in 2006.

This year Mozambican exports have so far increased 20 percent against last year, driven by sales of electricity and natural products such as fish and cashew nuts, the country’s statistics institute said recently.

According to the institute, imports have increased 14.7 percent year-on-year and the balance of trade deficit has increased by 5 percent to US$154.7 million. (macauhub)