Burundi raises public spending by 2.7%

Burundi plans to increase state spending by 2.7 percent this year to 848 billion francs due to the impact of the global economic slowdown, the government said on Saturday.

Finance Minister Clotilde Nizigama told parliament remittances from aboard had slumped by 40 percent since the start of 2009, while coffee prices had fallen 17 percent and domestic revenues were down 5.7 percent on expectations.

“The global financial crisis affected our exports. It also caused important losses in terms of national revenues,” she said. “Some of the aid that the country expects to get from its main donors was also reduced because of the crisis.”

The government in Bujumbura expects growth of 3.2 percent this year, after 4.5 percent in 2008, because of lower income from coffee exports, remittances and foreign investment.

About 50 percent of the small central African country’s budget is currently financed by external aid. Annual inflation in Burundi jumped to 24.5 percent last year compared with 8.3 percent in 2007 because of record high commodity prices.

Source: Reuters

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