Zambia sees fiscal deficit at 7 percent in 2018: finance minister

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A man displays a 50,000 Kwacha note in Lusaka January 23, 2012. Zambia will rebase the kwacha currency by lopping off three zeros Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said on Monday. Government would also raise commercial banks' capital requirements to make them more resilient to economic shocks, he told a media briefing. REUTERS/Mackson Wasamunu (ZAMBIA - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTR2WQFI

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Zambian Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe expects the country’s fiscal deficit to be around 7 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, she said on Thursday.

Mwanakatwe also told a news briefing that Zambia’s external debt at the close of third quarter was $9.51 billion from $9.37 billion at end of second quarter of 2018.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised concerns over high borrowing by Africa’s second largest copper producer. Mwanakatwe said Zambia was committed to implementation of austerity measures to limit debt risk distress.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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