Eswatini Economic Status 2022

The country has close economic linkages to South Africa, which it depends on for about 85% of its imports and about 60% of exports. Eswatini is a member of the Common Monetary Area (CMA), with Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa. Under the CMA, the Eswatini Lilangeni (the domestic currency) is pegged at par to the South African Rand, which is also legal tender in the country.

Eswatini is classified as a lower middle-income country, as per the World Bank classification of economies by income levels.


Economists note that though the inflationary levels have been under control to single digit which is about 6 percent, government has the mandate to strengthen its fiscal position by engaging all stakeholders as they were key drivers to economic sustainability in both during and after COVID-19 crisis.

Dr. George Choongwa, Regional Coordinator of the Southern African Research Foundation for Economic Development says in his analysis Eswatini’s debt ratio is not good for economic sustainability during and post COVID-19 crisis.

He said the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio, has been on the rise in previous years noting that this might however increase due to the stabilization caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is for this reason that Government of Eswatini would need to ensure that there are stable monetary conditions and fiscal consolidation interventions in place so as to strengthen and sustain the country’s economic recovery path”, he said.

The Minister of Finance Neal Rijkenberg in the 2022 Budget Speech in February however noted that in line with the global developments, the domestic economy reflects significant signs of recovery.


The Central Bank of Eswatini’s Economic Review and Inflation Report dated September 2022 gives context of the current status of the economy in Eswatini. The report states that GDP is estimated to have increased by 4.5 per cent, on a year-on-year and seasonally adjusted basis, in the first quarter of 2022 from a revised growth of 2.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021. The pick-up in economic activity was mainly supported by resilient growth in the primary and secondary subsectors. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rose by 4.4 per cent, seasonally adjusted, recovering from a decline of 1.0 per cent in the previous quarter.


The CBE October report on recent Economic Developments states that the country’s annual consumer prices remained on an upward trend, increasing to 6.7 per cent in September 2022 compared to 5.8 per cent in August 2022.

The discount and prime lending rates were increased by 100 basis points in September 2022 to 6.00 per cent and 9.50 per cent respectively.


Credit extended to the private sector amounted to E17.1 billion at the end of September 2022, reflecting an improvement of 2.2 per cent compared to August 2022 according to the CBE.

Broad money supply (M2) stood at E21.6 billion at the end of September 2022, expanding by 6.1 per cent month-on-month.

Figure 1. Economic Forecast: 2020 – 2022 Outlook

GDP Annual Growth Rate (%)1.40-6-
Unemployment Rate (%)22.9023.823.8242424
Inflation Rate (%)3.902.
Interest Rate (%)4.0044444.5
Balance of Trade (SZL Million)432.70-1508-905-500-500-613
Current Account to GDP (%)0.40334.14.14.1
Government Debt to GDP (%)10.751818202020
Government Budget (% of GDP)-5.50-8.6-8.6-6-6-6
Personal Income Tax Rate (%)33.003333333333
Corporate Tax Rate (%)27.527.527.527.527.527.5



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