Botswana Expands Budget Deficit Due to Falling Diamond Revenues

04/02/2016 08:50

The country's government has expanded the budget deficit to 3.8% of gross domestic product for the fiscal year starting April 1 as demand drops for its diamonds, its main export category. There is a budget shortfall of $530 million compared to a deficit of $360 million, or 2.8% of GDP in the fiscal year that ends on March 31, Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo told parliament in his budget speech. The scope of the decline in diamond exports is seen in the fact that it will be the country's first deficit in four years. Matambo added that growth is forecast to rebound this year to 4.2% from an estimated 1% in 2015, Matambo said.