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Zimbabwe Economy Africa's Worst Performer In 2006 - U.N. Agency

Zimbabwe's economy, long mired in recession, underperformed every other economy in Africa in 2006, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said.

The country's output slipped 4.4% last year while African economies averaged growth of 5.7%. Inflation in Zimbabwe is the highest in the world at over 1,700%, it noted.

Neighboring Mozambique ranked third among African nations for growth, Angola was in second place and energy-rich Mauritania outpaced every other African economy.

Harare economist John Robertson told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that 2006 contraction was probably closer to 5.5% than the 4.4% cited by UNECA, and that the official forecast of 0.5%-1% growth in 2007 is improbable.

Director Godfrey Kanyenze of the Labor Development and Economic and Research Institute of Zimbabwe, an arm of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, said the country needs to reform policies to attract much-needed foreign direct investment.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...