THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has declined to evaluate Zimbabweâ€™s Gross Domestic Product outlook this year in its latest World Economic Outlook report as the countryâ€™s economy continues to worsen at an alarming rate.
According to the report which projected the GDP outlook of several countries, the IMF said it was not in a position to evaluate the countryâ€™s GDP growth this year because of the rate the economy was declining.
The Bretton Woods institute has rated Zimbabwe, whose inflation is at 231 million %, as the worldâ€™s fastest shrinking economy.
â€œIMF declined to evaluate Zimbabwe GDP growth this year,â€ was as brief as the evaluation of Zimbabwe went.
GDP is the total amount of the countryâ€™s production. Due to the economic meltdown, Zimbabweâ€™s production sector has sunk to its lowest ebb.
The IMF report said world growth would slow down amid the most dangerous financial shock since the 1930s.
â€œThere will be no growth in many advanced economies until at least mid-2009, and global economy expected to stage modest recovery later in 2009.â€
On an annual basis, global growth is expected to moderate from 5% in 2007 to 3,9% in 2008 and 3% in 2009,â€ said IMF.
The IMF last month said it had paved way to work with Zimbabweâ€™s new power-sharing government but then said the countryâ€™s leaders first need to make clear commitments to rescue the economy.
IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the signing of the power-sharing accord between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara was a chance to reverse the economic crisis, where inflation was now above 200 million %.
â€œWe stand ready to discuss with the new authorities their policies to stabilise the economy, improve social conditions, and reduce poverty,â€ Strauss-Kahn said in a statement.
But Strauss-Kahn said the new government needed to show it was willing to implement credible policies to put the economy on a sound footing.
â€œI encourage the government to take steps to show clear commitment to a new policy direction and to seek the support of the international community,â€ he added.
Such a strategy would also help put Zimbabwe in better standing with the international community and restore ties with the IMF.
Zimbabweâ€™s GDP has been on a steep decline over the past 10years. Production in agriculture, mining and manufacturing has more than halved since the political crisis started in 2000, and a recent industrial survey shows that manufacturing industry is operating at less than 30% of capacity.
Shops are empty and because of declining foreign currency inflows, the Reserve Bank has â€œlegalisedâ€ the use of foreign currency for paying for goods and services.
Zimbabwe is now a highly polarised society economically, with a thin veneer of extremely wealthy entrepreneurs, including government ministers and officials, policemen and military officers and well-connected business people, known generically as â€œchefsâ€, enjoying luxurious lifestyles while the rest of the countryâ€™s populace live on less than one US dollar per day.
By Paul Nyakazeya