BUSINESS WRITER 20 December 2017
HARARE – Business confidence in Zimbabwe was at an all-time low in the
third quarter as a result of political uncertainty, poor economic
performance, policy confusion and a general lack of leadership, a
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries latest survey shows.
The composite business confidence index for the third quarter of 2017
stood at -29,6 for quarter-on-quarter and -9,9 for year-on-year.
CZI president Sifelani Jabangwe said this indicates lack of confidence and
pessimism of business leaders regarding the economic situation.
“The Situation Diffusion Index (SDI) was -37,5 for quarter-on-quarter
comparison and -45,5 for year-on-year comparison, indicating that
respondents feel that the current situation is worse off compared to the
previous quarter and also compared to same quarter of 2016,” he said.
Jabangwe was, however, quick to point out that the economic outlook by the
manufacturing sector has changed as a result of the new political
dispensation that saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa replacing Robert Mugabe
who had been in power for the past 37 years.
“Expectations for the third quarter in 2018 are that business conditions
would have improved thereby creating an expectation of better business and
economic performance in the private sector in 2018,” he said, adding that
this expectation is largely driven by the hope that new economic policies
expounded by Mnangagwa would have taken full effect next year.
Since his inauguration in November, Mnangagwa has made key choices to
attract foreign direct investment, including the revision of the
Indigenisation Act and also made commitments to service foreign debt and
reform the civil service and dispose non-performing parastatals among
To ensure that these policies are fully implemented, business has
requested to have frequent high level meetings with the president and his
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa.
“Business is keen to see the immediate implementation of the stated policy
reforms and execution of interventions highlighted as priorities for them
to drive the growth and recovery of the economy,” Jabangwe said.
“Any delay in bringing these into effect will delay the intended recovery
of the economy and place a dent on the confidence that is already building
up in industry with regards the new dispensation,” he added.