Industry capacity utilisation increased by 9 percent

Staff Writer

Government says domestic manufacturing industry in the last quarter of 2020 increased by 9 percent, setting in motion an upward trend in capacity utilisation for the manufacturing sector in 2021.

According to the Treasury Quarterly Bulleting (October-December 2020), domestic manufacturing industry benefitted from  an increase in demand for local products as imports were curbed through border movement restrictions, hence presenting an opportunity for local supplies,  as well as increased demand for PPEs and medical supplies in response to COVID-19.

“This has resulted in increased capacity utilisation in some sub-sectors of pharmaceuticals and clothing industries, among others. Overall average capacity utilisation increased from around 36% to about 47%,” read the report.

“In addition, the relaxation of lockdown restrictions and the resultant increase in aggregate demand led to a marginal improvement in performance of the sector.”

Notable improvement was recorded in the food sub-sector and drinks, tobacco and beverages sub-sectors.

The introduction of the market-based foreign currency auction market system as well as Statutory Instrument 185 of 2020 also managed to stabilise the exchange rate and improved foreign currency availability.

Going forward, Government is set to intensify the Buy Zimbabwe Campaign to unlock the country’s full potential and support economic growth and competitiveness of local brands, create more jobs and manage the import bill.

The continuous reviewing of lockdown conditions, improved macro-economic stability and the recovery of local and regional economies will also bring about further positive developments in the performance of the sector.