We are already on record for stating unequivocally that we don’t think the Zimbabwean economy is going to grow this year. Instead it will probably shrink given the multitude of problems we face as a country not least of all the drought and inadequate policies put in place to deal with it.

The Finance Minister is still optimistic despite all the evidence to the contrary that Zimbabwe is going to experience a growth of around 3%. Speaking to Sunday Mail he had to say this on the issue:

I have seen the forecasts doing the rounds, the EIU (London-based Economist Intelligence Unit) in particular, showing a very huge negative growth (minus 13 percent), but we are optimistic as Government. We projected growth to be at 3 percent.

We have our reasons. It’s been a better rainy season, stronger commodities and a more expansionary fiscal space. Our forecast on productivity is what will deliver this growth.

What rain is he talking about

We do indeed are currently experiencing a wet spell at the moment. However to say we are having a “better” rain season is to push the boundaries of the truth. Better as compared to what? Last season?

One thing to note is that it’s not just the total amount of rainfall you receive at the end of the season that makes one drought better than the other. Rainfall patterns and expected rainfall patterns matter. If people fail to anticipate the actual rainfall pattern they might end up actually experiencing low yields.

His optimistic budget presentation was hinged on us having good rains and an increase in mineral exports. Neither seems likely at the moment so we don’t know what reasons he has for being so optimistic.