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Zimbabweans Batten Down the Hatches Amid Bleak Economic Outlook

Zimbabwe’s annual inflation stood at minus 0.80 percent in December last year from minus 0.78 in 2013, the national statistics agency, Zimstats, said Thursday.

The agency said commodity prices shed 0.60 points in November.

This as analysts warned consumers to brace for more economic upheavals this year after a subdued economic growth forecast of only 3.2 percent by the World Bank.

The Bretton Woods institution said in its bi-annual global outlook report this week that Zimbabwe’s growth will only increase by 3.7 percent in 2016 before slowing down to 3.4 percent in 2017.

The 2015 forecast corresponds with predictions by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa who said during a budget presentation in November that the low growth will be driven in part by the agricultural sector.

Zimbabwe’s economy is reeling from a gamut of factors, including liquidity problems, massive joblessness and a dearth of foreign direct investment mainly as a result of poorly-fashioned policies.

Critics accuse President Mugabe’s Zanu PF government of expending its energies on internal succession politics instead of mapping sound strategies to save the economy and create jobs.

Economic analyst Masimba Kuchera told Studio 7 the low growth predictions mean more trouble for already hard-pressed Zimbabweans.