Tanzania quarter one growth slows to 5.7%

Tanzanian growth slowed to 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of this year, hurt by slower-than-expected performance of construction, transport, agriculture and the financial services sectors, the statistics office said on Thursday.

Growth in the same period of 2016 was 6.8 per cent.

The state-run National Bureau of Statistics said the construction sector grew 8.4 per cent in January to March, compared with 8.9 per cent a year ago, while transport and storage grew 4.1 per cent from 7.9 per cent previously.

“During the period under review, mining and quarrying increased at the highest growth rate of 35.3 per cent followed by information and communication at 13.8 per cent,” it said.

NBS attributed the surge in growth of the mining sector to increased production of gold, tanzanite, copper and coal.

Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer and also has vast deposits of coal, uranium and gems.

Its economy, East Africa’s second biggest, also relies on rain-fed farming, tourism and communications.

The agriculture sector growth edged down 2.6 per cent in the first quarter compared with 2.7 per cent a year ago, while growth in the financial intermediation and insurance services sector also slowed to 8.1 per cent from 13.5 per cent a year ago.

Tanzania projects its economy to grow 7.1 per cent this year from 7.0 per cent in 2016, making it one of the fastest-growing in Africa.

Source: The Star