Rwanda’s economy to exceed 8.5 % growth projections

Finance Minister Uzziel Ndagijimana (R) addresses the media as Yusuf Murangwa, the Director General of NISR looks, on yesterday. Sam Ngendahimana

The Rwandan economy is on course to surpass the 8.5 per cent growth rate projected in November this year by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This is emerging as the economy grew by 11.9 per cent in the period between July and September with the current value of all finished goods and services produced in Rwanda estimated to be Rwf2,358 billion, up from Rwf2,065 billion in the same period last year.

 

According to data from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), the services sector contributed the largest share of  49 per cent of GDP while the agricultural sector contributed 27 per cent of the GDP.

 

The figures announced on Thursday show that the industrial sector contributed 17 per cent of the GDP while 7 per cent was attributed to adjustment for taxes and subsidies on products.

 

The service sector grew by 13 per cent, driven by an increase of 25 per cent in wholesale and retail trade activities of locally made and imported products, 18 per cent in transport services, 9 per cent in financial services.

Hotels and restaurant services also saw the growth in performance of the service sector. Telecommunication services decreased by 5 percent.

While announcing the numbers at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Yusuf Murangwa the Director-General of NISR said that the agriculture sector grew by 8 per cent with food crops and exports crops such as tea and coffee increasing their contribution to GDP.

Industry sector growth was 14 per cent with the main contributors being construction activities and manufacturing activities growing.

Manufacturing of construction materials increased by 14 per cent while chemicals and plastic products such as paints and soaps increased by 31 per cent.

The trend could see a decline in the trade deficit over time as local activities produce for local consumption and exports.

However, mining contribution to GDP reduced by 16 per cent due to a decline in commodity prices in the international market.

Finance Minister, Uzziel Ndagijimana said that the low prices of mining products on the international market had led a section of miners to hesitate to export products.

In mitigation, the government has urged miners to add value to their products before they are exported to attract better prices internationally.

Double-digit growth

Experts estimate that the economic growth for 2019 could be around the 10 per cent mark, going by the performance of previous quarters and outlook of the fourth quarter.

The IMF revised the economic growth projections in November from to 8.5 per cent from 7.8 per cent citing heightened economic activity in the first half of the year had outpaced expectations with real Gross Domestic Product growing by 10.3 per cent in the first half of the year.

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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