February 14, 2020 / 11:26 AM / 7 days ago

eSwatini's economy likely grew 1.4% in 2019: finance minister

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - eSwatini’s economy probably grew by 1.4% in 2019, benefiting from improved regional demand for the landlocked country’s major exports in key markets, including neighbouring South Africa, Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg said on Friday.

“Manufacturing activity re-bounded in 2019 following improved developments in particular South Africa, the U.S. and European markets. This resulted in the increased demand for the country’s major exports such as food processing and manufacture of beverages and textiles products,” he said in an emailed budget speech.

The average headline consumer inflation in the country, formerly known as Swaziland, was recorded at 2.6% for 2019 and is projected to remain below the upper end of the common monetary area bound of 6% in 2020/21 and over the medium term, he added.

The common monetary area is a currency union linking eSwatini, South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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