Rwanda’s GDP slumps by 12% in Quarter 2, Covid-19 blamed

In the second quarter of 2020, the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plummeted by 12.4 per cent, latest figures have revealed.

According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), the slump is attributed to measures in place to contain the spread of Covid-19.


The statistics body says that in Q2 of 2020, GDP at current market prices was estimated at Rwf 2.1 billion, in comparison with Rwf2.3 billion in Q2 of 2019.


The period under review cover covers the months of April, May and June, two of which Rwanda was in total lockdown with only essential services operation leading to slowdown and halting of some services.


The situation was no different across the globe, global trade was estimated to decline by a record 27 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, following to a 3 per cent decline in the first quarter of the year.

In Rwanda, industry and services were the worst hit, recording a decrease of 19 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.

The main contributors to the drop in the industry sector were manufacturing, construction and mining activities which were completely halted during the lockdown period.

Financial services dropped by 8 percent, transport by 41 percent while wholesale and trade decreased by 22 percent.

The services sector continues to feel the pinch as some of its activities such as hotels and restaurants - which decreased by 62 percent - as well as entertainment remain under tough restrictions.

NISR reports that activities of public interests such as education dropped by 67 percent as schools remain closed since mid-March.

On a bright note, health services increased by 5 per cent while information and communication activities rose by 33 per cent  mainly boosted by telecommunication activities since a huge part of people’s lifestyles became virtual.

Agriculture sector dropped by an overall 2 per cent. Food crops production decreased by 2 per cent while export crops fell by 19 per cent mainly driven by a sharp decrease in coffee production.

Despite the decrease, services continue to lead in terms of shares to GDP with 45 per cent compared to 28 per cent and 19 per cent shares for agriculture and industry respectively.

The remaining 9 per cent is attributed to net taxes on products.

Expenditure GDP

In Q2 of 2020, total final consumption expenditure decreased by 5 per cent, with government expenditures decreasing by 18 per cent while household consumption decreased by 2 per cent.

Exports decreased by 24 per cent and imports by 18 per cent. Gross capital formation decreased by 34 per cent.

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