THE banking sector has spent $4,5 billion in the economy - about 120 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, most of which has been in the form of loans to companies and individuals, the central bank governor said on Friday.
Addressing members of the house of assembly at a pre-budget seminar in the resort town of Victoria Falls, Gideon Gono said of the $3,7 billion disbursed as loans, $900 million was advanced to individuals.
"For every dollar in the market, 83cents have been given out as loans," Gono said, adding that it was 'a disturbing reality' that the $900 million advanced to individuals was more than the $600 million loans to the agriculture sector.
About $75 million was advanced to the mining sector while less than $50 million was availed to the transport sector.
Gono said the import bill for the nine months to September was $6,6 billion and that Zimbabwe was becoming a retail economy as its manufacturing base continued to decline.
A recent CZI manufacturing survey showed that industrial capacity utilisation dropped to 39.6 percent in June this year from 44.9 percent last year.
"We need to control imports because we are impoverishing our nation. We need laws that support local industries," Gono said.