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Zimbabwe economy growing: IMF
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THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Zimbabwe's economy is steadily growing and would this year post growth for the second consecutive year.

In a press statement, the Bretton Woods institution said a combination of high commodity prices and political stability was leading to the recovery.

This is despite Finance Minister Tendai Biti's earlier calls for the country to be declared a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC).

The Zanu-PF party of President Mugabe resisted Minister Biti's plan to have Zimbabwe declared HIPC country.

"Supported by renewed efforts to strengthen policies and favourable shocks, the Zimbabwe economy is completing its second year of buoyant economic growth after a decade of economic decline," the IMF said.

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"The budget is projected to generate a cash surplus in 2010, governance at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (central bank) is improving and the government is working towards strengthening the business climate," it added.

The IMF said improvements in the agricultural sector and high prices for gold and platinum, two of Zimbabwe's main exports, had increased the country's revenues, leading to the budget surplus.

IMF urged Zimbabwe to continue making prudent economic policy decisions to ensure growth.

"To sustain the economic recovery, spread its benefits to a larger share of the population and reduce significant external and financial vulnerabilities, it is important to build consensus on a strong medium-term agenda focused on prudent macro-economic policies and a comprehensive package of structural reform.

"Political stability is also key to consolidating gains in macro-economic performance," the IMF said.

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Tags: Bretton Woods, commodity prices, Highly Indebted Poor Country, IMF, International Monetary Fund, President Mugabe, tendai biti, Zanu-PF, zimbabwe treasury

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