During the past decade Zambia’s economy has shown impressive growth averaging above 7% per annum. Growth was driven by investments in the mining sector with spillover effects into construction, transport, communications, wholesale and retail. Growth was furthermore facilitated by favorable copper prices, underpinned by demand from China, and increasing trade with neighboring countries. Economic turmoil in the global economy has had limited effects on the Zambian economy.
In 2014 the economy continued to grow at a high rate although slowing to a rate not seen since 2002. The slowdown was attributed to operational difficulties in some of the mines that saw the sector contract. Agriculture, construction, transport and financial services demonstrated good performance, though not enough to increase overall growth to former levels.
The agriculture sector experienced a bumper maize harvest in 2014 despite a slow start with the rains at the beginning of the planting season, which improved in the latter half of the season. Maize production expanded by about 30% in 2014. This was attributed to the expansion of planting areas by 8.1% and an increase in productivity by 22.3%. Rice and Sorghum also did well, while production of wheat, Irish potatoes and cassava decreased.