The first half of the year has been challenging for all sectors of the economy with the manufacturing industry is reeling under delays in foreign payments and the cost of money affecting the expansion processes.

The obtaining high interest rates continue to affect borrowing among productive sectors of the economy and high utility costs impact negatively on the competitiveness of the local industry.

The low levels of the country’s nostro account has been the major undoing which saw companies queuing for foreign currency allocation more often than focusing on production.

Exports have been very low which also means production has declined in some sectors of the economy though some entities have posted brilliant figures.

Utilities are priced beyond regional parity price which put local products out of competition on the international market while the cost of money is putting pressure on the local economy.

Unfair competition from imported products is another challenge which is placing local manufacturing firms out of business.

Local firms have failed to retool owing to unavailability of funding while others have blamed management of various firms for failing to lead some of the critical organisations.

Overally the first half of 2017 has been a challenging year and industrialists pin their hopes on the expected half year monetary policy statement.