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Swaziland to run budget deficit as donor flow dwindles

Country Map - Swaziland IRIN
The tiny kingdom is heavily dependent on US trade
Swaziland will run a budget deficit of around US $61 million in 2001-02 because donor aid has dried up and the wage bill has soared, Finance Minister Majozi Sithole was quoted as saying on Wednesday. Sithole told the House of Assembly that Swaziland's economic growth rate declined to 2.5 percent during 2000 from 3.7 percent in 1999, and its annual inflation averaged 7.3 percent, up from 5.8 percent during the same time the previous year. Sithole added that over the past financial year, Swaziland's total expenditure increased almost 14 percent. The resulting deficit totalled around 4.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Sithole estimated the country's wage bill at around 54.4 percent of the total recurrent budget. "Compared to other countries at the same level of development, we are spending far too much money in this category of expenditure. There is an urgent need to address this problem," he said.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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