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LUSAKA, Dec 27 (Reuters) – Zambia’s inflation forecast will be revised from 7 percent to a double digit figure, the central bank governor said on Saturday.

Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Caleb Fundanga said the new figure would be announced next week. He did not elaborate. Annual inflation in November was recorded at 15.3 percent.

A prolonged global economic recession could deepen risk aversion and discourage both portfolio and foreign direct investment in the southern African country.

Fundanga said the economy would remain resilient because a rise in non-mining exports would make up for losses in the industry hurt by a fall in copper prices.

“Zambia’s economy is slightly stronger than before and this year we expect to reach $1 billion in earnings for non-traditional exports. If we don’t reach that, we will have at least $900 million,” he told journalists in Lusaka.

Last year the Treasury recorded around $500 million in non-traditional exports earnings.

Fundanga said economic growth forecasts, which had been projected at 7 percent for both 2008 and next year, would also be revised downwards.

He hoped foreign investment and several projects involving China and Japan would create a wider economic base.

“This will usher us into an industrial phase and create a more stable economy,” he said. (Reporting by Shapi Shacinda; Editing by Ron Askew)

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