BIDPA Briefing 1st Quarter 1999
"The Botswana economy continues to show healthy growth across the board, driven by most of the major components of aggregate demand - government spending, consumer spending, and private investment. This continued high economic growth, which we estimate at 7-8% for the non-mineral economy in 1998/99, has inevitably led to an upsurge in inflation, to reach 7.3% in March. Rapid expansion of bank credit remains an inflationary concern, with growth of 56% in 1998. On the export front, the growth of non-traditional exports is being constrained by sluggish economic growth in neighbouring export markets of South Africa, Zimbabwe and the SADC region more generally. As for diamonds, it appears that the bottom may have been reached in 1998. Diamond sales by the CSO in the first three months of the year indicate a small market recovery, and as long as there is no economic slowdown in the USA, 1999 should see an improvement in the international diamond market."