"As 1998 drew to a close, the Botswana economy finally felt the impact of the global economic slowdown, with a sharp drop in diamond exports in the fourth quarter of the year. However,this has so far had little impact outside of the mining sector, with sustained growth continuing throughout most of the domestic economy. A key question is, therefore, what impact will current export problems have on the rest of the economy, and what should the appropriate policy response be? In particular, will reduced export earnings and government revenues have any impact on the 1999 Budget, due in February?"