Minister: Despite Covid-19, economic performance solid

11Jun 2021
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
Minister: Despite Covid-19, economic performance solid

TANZANIA’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) average growth declined from 7.0 per cent in 2019 to 4.8 per cent in the 2020/21 financial year, the National Assembly heard yesterday.

Presenting the status of the national economy and the annual development plan for 2021/22, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba, said this growth level was impressive compared to other countries as it was one of the highest in the context of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The positive growth was a result of the government's decision to allow people to continue performing economic activities while adhering to health guidelines and precautions, he stated, elaborating that other causes to the slowdown in growth include floods, which damaged roads and delaying implementation of projects.

The outbreak of Covid-19 had an impact on foreign trade as trading partners imposed lockdowns and other measures that slowed down bossiness, he said, noting that the impact of the pandemic was acute in hospitality, with accommodation, foods and beverages most affected.

Arts and entertainment activities also slumped on occasion of the pandemic, registering negative growth in 2020, he said.

Sectors which recorded high growth rates in 2020/21 include construction at 9.1 percent, information and communication (8.4 percent), transport and storage (8.4 percent), administrative and support services (7.8 percent), professional,
scientific and technical activities (7.3 percent), mining and quarrying (6.7 percent), along with health and social work field (6.5 percent), he said.

The minister underlined that the GDP at current prices stood at 148.5trn/- in 2020 compared to 139.6 trn/- shillings in 2019, while the population in the Mainland was being projected at 55.9m people last year from 54.2m in 2019.

Average per capita GDP reached 2.6m/- (equivalent to $1,151.0) in 2020 from 2.57m/- (equivalent to $1,118.9) in 2019, an increase of 3.1 percent., he said, noting also that inflation has continued to remain low, dipping from 3.4 percent in 2019 to 3.3 percent last year. Inflation stood at 3.3 percent in April 2021, the same as in April 2020, he pointed out.

“Inflationary pressures have remained relatively stable due to steady supply of food, falling oil prices in global markets, stability of the shilling as well as effective implementation of monetary and fiscal policies,” the minister intoned.

The Bank of Tanzania has continued to implement an accommodative monetary policy, reducing interest rates in financial markets, as well as review lending and deposit rates, he added.

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