Barclays predicts tougher economic conditions this year

Diamond market to be affected by China – US trade dispute

The outgoing Barclays Bank of Botswana Managing Director, Reinette van der Merwe says as the bank, they expect the local economy to recede to 4.2 percent growth this year.

The local economy is expected to register a growth of 4.2 percent, from 4.5 percent registered in 2018.

Van der Merwe says this will come on the backdrop of global demand for diamonds being challenged by ongoing trade disputes between China and the US, who are the two largest consumers of diamonds globally.

“Therefore, the mining sector will have to accelerate significantly if economic prospects are to brighten,” said Van der Merwe recently during the presentation of the bank’s financial results.

Generally, prospects in 2019 are said to be likely to be hampered by challenging global conditions.

Additionally, Barclays’ chief says growth in gross fixed capital formation and government expenditure is encouraging and could present upside risks, particularly against the government’s diversification agenda and high expenditure programme.


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