Zambia Economy - 2021


SOURCE: 2021 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

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Economic overview

Zambia had one of the world’s fastest growing economies for the ten years up to 2014, with real GDP growth averaging roughly 6.7% per annum, though growth slowed during the period 2015 to 2017, due to falling copper prices, reduced power generation, and depreciation of the kwacha. Zambia’s lack of economic diversification and dependency on copper as its sole major export makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in the world commodities market and prices turned downward in 2015 due to declining demand from China; Zambia was overtaken by the Democratic Republic of Congo as Africa’s largest copper producer. GDP growth picked up in 2017 as mineral prices rose.

Despite recent strong economic growth and its status as a lower middle-income country, widespread and extreme rural poverty and high unemployment levels remain significant problems, made worse by a high birth rate, a relatively high HIV/AIDS burden, by market-distorting agricultural and energy policies, and growing government debt. Zambia raised $7 billion from international investors by issuing separate sovereign bonds in 2012, 2014, and 2015. Concurrently, it issued over $4 billion in domestic debt and agreed to Chinese-financed infrastructure projects, significantly increasing the country’s public debt burden to more than 60% of GDP. The government has considered refinancing $3 billion worth of Eurobonds and significant Chinese loans to cut debt servicing costs.

Real GDP growth rate

3.4% (2017 est.)

3.8% (2016 est.)

2.9% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

9.1% (2019 est.)

7.4% (2018 est.)

6.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 205

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: RD (2020)

Moody's rating: Ca (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: SD (2020)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$61.985 billion (2019 est.)

$61.104 billion (2018 est.)

$58.735 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 107

GDP (official exchange rate)

$25.71 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,470 (2019 est.)

$3,522 (2018 est.)

$3,485 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 190

Gross national saving

39.7% of GDP (2019 est.)

41.8% of GDP (2018 est.)

36.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 7.5% (2017 est.)

industry: 35.3% (2017 est.)

services: 57% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 52.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 21% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 27.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 43% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -44.9% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 66.9 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 84.9 (2020)

Trading score: 56.9 (2020)

Enforcement score: 50.8 (2020)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, cassava, maize, milk, vegetables, soybeans, beef, tobacco, wheat, groundnuts

Industries

copper mining and processing, emerald mining, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture

Industrial production growth rate

4.7% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

Labor force

6.898 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 66

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 54.8%

industry: 9.9%

services: 35.3% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate

15% (2008 est.)

50% (2000 est.)

country comparison to the world: 176

Population below poverty line

54.4% (2015 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

57.1 (2015 est.)

50.8 (2004)

country comparison to the world: 3

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.5%

highest 10%: 47.4% (2010)

Budget

revenues: 4.473 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 6.357 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

17.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-7.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 195

Public debt

63.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

60.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 66

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$1.006 billion (2017 est.)

-$934 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 145

Exports

$8.216 billion (2017 est.)

$6.514 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 107

Exports - partners

Switzerland 29%, China 16%, Namibia 12%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 9%, Singapore 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

copper, gold, gemstones, sulfuric acid, raw sugar, tobacco (2019)

Imports

$7.852 billion (2017 est.)

$6.539 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 118

Imports - partners

South Africa 29%, China 14%, United Arab Emirates 12%, India 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, crude petroleum, delivery trucks, gold, fertilizers (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.082 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.353 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 121

Debt - external

$11.66 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$9.562 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 110

Exchange rates

Zambian kwacha (ZMK) per US dollar -

21.065 (2020 est.)

15.3736 (2019 est.)

11.855 (2018 est.)

8.6 (2014 est.)

6.2 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Zambia on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Zambia 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Zambia 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.