19 September 2018

Rwanda: Economy Expands By 6.7% in Second Quarter

Photo: The New Times
Shoppers at a city supermarket (file photo).

Rwanda's economy grew by 6.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said yesterday.

The performance represents rebound from the 4 per cent growth rate registered in the same period last year

In the second quarter of 2018, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current market prices was estimated at Rwf2,000 billion, up from Rwf1, 869 billion in the second quarter of 2017.

According to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, which jointly released the GDP figures with the Ministry of Finance, the positive growth was a result of growth in all the three key sectors of the economy.

The three sectors are agriculture, which grew by 6 per cent, industry that grew by 10 per cent, and services that grew by 5 per cent.

The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, said that the economic growth posted reflects hope that the country will achieve the 7.2 per cent economic growth rate targeted for this year.

"It's good growth; we see good performance in all the three sectors of the economy," he said at a media briefing at the release of the GDP figures at the ministry's head office in Kigali.

The growth in agriculture sector was mainly attributed to growth in food crops and export crops, with food crops growing by 6 per cent in season A, while export crops grew by 6 per cent mainly due to tea and coffee production.

The growth in industry was driven by manufacturing and construction activities which expanded by 12 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

Food processing, which was characterised by increased processing of cereals, tea, coffee and sugar were the main drivers of growth in the manufacturing sector.

The statistics body also said that the production of textiles, clothes and leather goods increased by 13 per cent, while production of construction materials, such as metallic products increased by 37 per cent.

It said that construction is picking up its momentum with an increase of 11 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 following an increase of 8 per cent observed in the first quarter of 2018.

Minister Ndagijimana described growth in the industrial sector as an expected result from the Made-in-Rwanda campaign, which has sought to promote domestic production.

"Manufacturing is growing through different measures to promote domestic production and manufacturing under the Made-in-Rwanda policy," he said.

As for the growth in the services sector, it was due to growth of several activities, including wholesale and retail trade that increased by 11 per cent due to increase in tradable agricultural and manufactured products as well as transport activities that increased by 13 per cent boosted by air transport that increased by 17 per cent.

Growth in the services sector was also fuelled by information and communication activities that increased by 18 per cent, financial services that increased by 7 per cent, as well as public administration activities that increased by 4 per cent.

"The high increase is due to the fact that last year's growth was very low," the Deputy Director General of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, Ivan Murenzi, said.

The economy is projected to grow 7.2 per cent this year, up from the 6.1 per cent posted last year.

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