April 30, 2019 / 5:48 PM / a month ago

IMF staff says buildup of Zambia's domestic expenditure arrears poses risk

JOHANNESBURG, April 30 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in preliminary findings on Tuesday that a buildup in Zambia’s domestic expenditure arrears was weighing on households and businesses, posing a risk for the financial sector.

“With the recent increase in yields on government paper and higher interest costs on foreign debt due to the depreciation of the kwacha, government spending in other areas is being squeezed, including on social programs and transfers to local governments,” the IMF said in a statement.

Zambia’s external debt rose to $10.05 billion at the end of last year from $8.74 billion at the end of 2017. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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