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HARARE, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's economy is projected to grow 8.9 percent next year if the political environment remains stable and the government lives within its expenditure targets, the finance ministry said on Friday in a pre-budget statement.
Uncertainty over the date and conduct of elections due within the next year is casting a shadow over the economy given Zimbabwe's recent history of violent and disputed polls.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti is due to present the budget to parliament on Nov. 15.
In July, Biti, a senior member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), slashed his 2012 growth forecast to 5.6 percent from 9.4 percent due to a poor harvest and a lack of donor funding and investment.
The finance ministry statement said inflation, which has remained in single digits since Zimbabwe adopted foreign currencies in 2009, would average 5 percent next year.
Consumer inflation slowed to 3.63 percent in August from 3.94 percent previously.
The government projects that revenues should grow to $3.8 billion next year from an expected $3.4 billion in 2012 as authorities crack down on corporate tax defaulters.
After a decade of steep economic decline and hyperinflation, Zimbabwe's economy has been growing since the formation in early 2009 of a unity government between Tsvangirai and veteran President Robert Mugabe.
In its annual review of the Zimbabwean economy, the International Monetary Fund said growth should moderate over the medium-term to average about 4 percent, although poor power supply and tight liquidity conditions could pose problems.
The southern African country also carries a huge debt burden that is preventing it from securing new aid. Its total external debt was estimated at $10.7 billion, or 113.5 percent of GDP, at the end of 2011. Of this, more than half is in arrears.
(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Ed Cropley)
Keywords: ZIMBABWE ECONOMY/