Industry maintains growth trajectory

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector has maintained a positive growth trajectory with investments growing by 40 per cent last year.

The 2022 Manufacturing Sector Survey Results released this Thursday reflected a resilient manufacturing industry with an appetite to modernise, industrialise and increase output.

While capacity utilisation dropped by marginal levels to 56,1 per cent in 2022 from 56,52 per cent in 2021, growth in output has, however, excited authorities.

With the sector dominating access to foreign currency on the central bank auction market, monetary authorities have described the results as an indication of a positive response to policy interventions.

“The foreign exchange auction system has been dominated by manufacturing entities that have continued to be allotted with forex, especially for raw materials and equipment,” noted Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr John Mangudya.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says findings from the survey will help in formulating policies to boost production.

CZI chief economist Mr Cornelius Dube said, “This survey is very critical because it gives a true reflection of what is happening on the ground relating to the manufacturing sector. Everything emanating from this report will go a long way in giving direction to investors on what needs to be done, possible solutions, and future projections.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Sekai Nzenza was upbeat about growth prospects, “The results are remarkable they show resilience and strong cooperation among the private sector towards consolidating gains in the sector as testified by a rise in availability of local goods in retail shelves.”

Key takeaways from the results include a 40 per cent growth in investments, 26 per cent of firms expanding production, 57 per cent of entities maintaining their workforce, a slight drop in capacity utilisation as well as beverage and tobacco sectors dominating growth.

Local firms are expecting stable exchange and inflation rates, long-lasting solutions to power challenges, and enhanced ease of doing business reforms.

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