Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube has said the country recorded a budget surplus amounting to $9.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
In the latest Treasury report for the first quarter ended March 2021, Ncube said the government’s economic stabilisation reforms have been successful as evidenced by the significant drop in annual inflation. He said:
On the fiscal front, a budget surplus of $9,8 billion was recorded as Government continued fiscal consolidation for ensuring stability and restore market confidence.
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Success of stabilisation reforms is also being evidenced through a significant drop in the annual inflation rate to 240,6 per cent by March 2021 from 837,5 per cent in July 2020.
Similarly, the exchange rate has stabilised at around US$1: $84 throughout the quarter.
In June last year, the monetary authorities introduced the weekly Foreign Currency Auction Trading System, replacing a fixed exchange rate of US$1: $25.
To date, over US$1,3 billion has been traded on the platform. Ncube said the first quarter has marked the beginning of NDS1 implementation — through the 2021 National Budget.
The National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) is a five-year economic development plan which is expected to run from 2021 to 2025.
It replaced the two-year Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) that ended in December 2020.