Mozambique: Government confirms slowdown in growth to 6.5 pct in 2008

12 February 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 12 Feb – The Mozambican government Friday confirmed a slowdown in economic growth in 2008 to 6.5 percent, as compared to a projected 7 percent.

The announcement was made at the end of a meeting of the Council of Ministers and confirmed estimates announced in December, which forecast a fall of 0.5 percentage points in gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

The high price of fuel and grains which affected the world last year, and the current international financial crisis were pointed to as the causes of deceleration of the country’s economic growth.

Since last year most observers had pointed to a slowing of GDP growth in 2008, after record growth in 2006 (8.5 percent), and 7 percent in 2007.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has said it expects a slowdown in economic growth in Mozambique in 2009, to around 5 percent, which is lower than the latest projections from the Mozambican authorities.

The latest figures from the Mozambican Finance Ministry, projected growth of 6.7 percent in 7, and close to 7 percent for the following two years.

Mozambique’s services industry (mainly retail, transport and communications) is the main driver of the country’s economy, accounting for over half of its GDP, which totals around 220.15 billion meticais. (macauhub)