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Mozambique’s Central Bank Lowers 2013 Growth Forecast to 7%

Mozambique’s central bank cut its growth forecast for this year to 7 percent because of floods that hit the southern and central provinces of the country in January and February, curbing output from mines.

The prediction for gross domestic product was reduced from 8 percent and compares with a revised 7.4 percent for 2012, Banco de Mocambique spokesman Waldemar de Sousa told reporters today in the capital, Maputo.

“The floods have deeply affected some sectors of the economy and thus make us believe that the initial forecast cannot be reached,” he said.

Vale SA, the world’s third-biggest mining company, and Rio Tinto Plc stopped operations after the Sena rail line was damaged because of the floods, which killed at least 69 people and displaced 112,000, according to the National Disaster Management Institute.

Foreign direct investment climbed to a record $5.2 billion from $2.3 billion, with 78 percent of that coming from iron-ore, coal and gas investments, de Sousa said.

Mozambique’s gas discoveries, the world’s largest in a decade, sparked interest among global energy producers seeking access to new reserves. The southeast African country’s offshore fields may hold enough gas to meet world consumption for more than two years, according to Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, the state-backed petroleum exploration company.

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