LEDRIZ says current GDP growth rates too little to salvage workers

By Own Correspondent

LABOUR and Economic Development Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) senior researcher, Doctor Prosper Chitambara has urged authorities to take more action if the economy is to attain sustained Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates and underscored that the current growth rates have no capacity to extricate workers from poverty.

He made the remarks in the wake of the Dissemination of the Quarterly GDP Estimates Report for the period 2019 – 2022 released early this month by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) showing an inconsistent economic growth rate pattern.

Simply put, GDP is a measurement which captures a country's economic output with countries with larger GDPs having a greater amount of goods and services generated within them, and will generally have a higher standard of living.

For this reason, many citizens and political leaders see GDP growth as an important measure of national success, often referring to GDP growth and economic growth interchangeably

“Quarterly growth rates over the period 2019 to 2022 shows quarterly fluctuations in economic activity.

“In 2022, the first quarter recorded a slowdown of minus 16,1% with sustained recoveries of 3,6%, 5,6% and 6,8% respectively for the three remaining quarters,” the report said.

The report shows that economic growth went down to minus 10,9% in the first quarter of 2020 and minus 13,2 % in the second quarter before growing by 3,3% and 20,6% in the third and fourth quarter respectively.

Notably, the economy recorded sustained growth from the second quarter of 2022 up to the final quarter.

But Chitambara maintained that more still needs to be done to transform the plight of workers.

 “Some of the bad performance recorded during the years between 2019 and 2021 were largely caused by the impact of the Covid19 pandemic shocks which were quite prolonged with notable developments being visible from the second quarter of 2022 right up to year end.

“However, with the Vision 2030 in mind it has to be noted that our growth rates are still way below attainment of the targets. The economy can only go that far if it grows by a margin of 10% per annum which should have been sustained since the inception of economic reforms,” he said        

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