Zambia’s economy 25% bigger after rebasing

House under construction in Lusaka
House under construction in Lusaka

Zambia’s economy is now a quarter larger at $16.7 billion (12.2 billion euros) after the changing of its base year from 1994 to 2010, the statistics office announced Thursday.

“According to the benchmark estimates the GDP (gross domestic product) for 2010 is estimated at 97.2 billion kwacha,” said Central Statistical Office director Goodson Sinyenga.

“The new estimates are 25.2 percentage points higher than the old which were estimated at 77.7 billion kwacha,” Sinyenga said in a statement.

Wholesale and trading accounted for 18.4 percent of the newly-rebased economy in 2010, and contributed most to the bigger size, he added.

The informal sector still accounts for the bulk of GDP at 33.6 percent, while mining, construction and agriculture each contributed roughly a tenth.

The statistics body also now includes information and communications technology (ICT) in its measure of the economy.

Africa’s largest copper producer last year lopped off three zeros of the national currency to address high inflation.

Top continental oil producer Nigeria is also due to finish rebasing its economy later this year, which is expected to show it has overtaken Africa’s number one economy South Africa.