Rwanda’s economy growth dropped to 2.3 percent for the financial year 2019-2020 from 8.8 percent recorded the year before, the National Bank of Rwanda said in a report released on Monday.
“The service sector grew at 1.6 percent compared to 8.4 percent in 2018-2019, the most affected sector by the COVID-19 pandemic, while agriculture sector grew by 2.1 percent due to unfavorable weather conditions compared to 4.4 percent in 2018-19,” the report said.
The industrial sector grew at 2.6 percent mainly due to completion of mega infrastructure projects, compared to 14.7 percent in 2018-2019, it said.
The report also noted that the country’s trade deficit widened by 23.7 percent in 2019-2020, amounting to nearly US$1.6B.
Trade guarantees for exports decelerated to 44.9 percent from 46.7 in 2018-2019 due to reduced export volumes, according to the central bank.
Total export volume decreased by 15.2 percent, while total export receipts increased by 15.1 percent to US$1.3B, following increased receipts from gold exports of 754.6 percent, it said, adding that all other export categories dropped sharply after the COVID-19 pandemic hit global demand and domestic economic activities.
Meanwhile, in 2019-2020, the total import value increased by 19.7 percent, standing at US$2,884.37M on rising demand for all import categories, according to the report.
It, however, noted that despite the COVID-19 crisis, the bank ensured price stability and a sound financial system, whereby headline inflation remained within the target band of 2 to 8 percent, at an average of 6.3 percent for the financial year 2019-2020 from 0.8 percent recorded in the previous period.