Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube revised his 2019 budget upwards. Equity Axis reports that the budget rose from $8.2 billion to $12.2 billion, a 50% change. The finance minister announced the changs in a state of the economy address document presented to the parliament of Zimbabwe on Wednesday, 15 May.
Equity Axis, which believes this is a departure from the minister’s austerity position, said in its report:
Expenditure for the year is now targeted at $12.2 billion up from the initial budget of $8.1 billion, a staggering 50% jump. Revenue for the year has been revised upward to $9.3 billion up from $6.1 billion which again is a 50% revised growth.
Of significance however is the widening budget deficit which had initially been forecasted to come off to $1.6 billion in 2019 from $2.8 billion in 2018. Given the revised budget of $12 billion, the budget deficit will grow to $2.9 billion which is ahead of last year’s deficit.
This is a major blow on Mthuli Ncube, who on being appointed as finance director declared the twin deficits of fiscal and current account, as Zimbabwe’s key economic enemies. He promised to tackle the deficits in a very short space of time to allow for fiscal consolidation and restoration of economic stability.
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