Monday, September 28, 2009

Mozambique cuts 2009 growth forecast to 6.1 pct

September 25, 2009

Mozambique has cut its 2009 growth forecast to 6.1 percent from 6.5-7 percent due to a drop in exports and high food prices, a senior government official said on Friday.

Planning and Development Minister Aiuba Cuereneia said exports had fallen 39 percent this year due to fallout from the global financial crisis.

"After reviewing our growth projections after six months this year, it will only be possible to achieve a 6.1 percent growth rate by the end of the year from the initial projection of 6.5-7 percent," he said.

Mozambique's $2.5 billion (R19 billion) Mozal aluminium smelter had seen its exports drop by a third, he added.

Prime Minister Luisa Diogo told Reuters in June the economy would probably grow 4-6 percent.

The Southern African country's economy grew 6.5 percent in 2008, but it remains one of Africa poorest nations, heavily dependent on agriculture and foreign aid.

However, it has become popular with foreign companies and investors, particularly from South Africa, keen to tap into its mineral and energy resources and tourism potential.

Source: Reuters