Uganda: Economic Growth Slows to 1.8 Percent in 2019/20 Third Quarter

Economic growth contracted to 1.8 per cent in the third quarter of the 2019/20 financial year compared to 7.3 per cent in the same period in the 2018/19 financial year.

The decline, which covers the period from January to March 2020, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos), was mainly a result of Covid-19, which had around the time caused a shutdown in a number of Uganda's key trading partners.

While releasing data on the status Uganda's growth in Kampala last week, Ms Aliziki Kaudha Lubega, the Ubos director for macroeconomic statistics, indicated that the agricultural sector grew by 1.3 per cent in the period compared to 8.1 per cent in the same period in the 2018/19 financial year.

This was mainly supported by resilient growth in the cash crops and livestock sectors, which, in the period, grew by 9.5 per cent and 7.7 per cent, respectively.

Combined, agriculture contributed at least 20.5 per cent of quarterly gross domestic product in the period compared to 21 per cent registered in the same period in the 2018/19 financial year.

Manufacturing registered a decline of 3.1 per cent, falling to 7.4 per cent from 10.5 per cent in the same period in the 2018/19 financial year.

The sector at least contributed 27.1 per cent of quarterly gross domestic product compared to 27.3 per cent in the same period in the 2018/19 financial year.

Ms Kaudha noted that declines in manufacturing and mining and quarrying contributed immensely to the contraction in the economy during the period.

However, she said that while building and construction had grown by 7.6 per cent, the services sector had slowed to 2.5 per cent in the period compared to 6.1 per cent in the same quarter in the 2018/19 financial year.

The services sector, according to Ms Kaudha, mainly benefited from an increase in public administration and information and communication technology activities, which grew by 12.7 per cent and 35.1 per cent, respectively during the period.

The services sector, she said, continue to be the biggest contributor to gross domestic product, representing 44.5 per cent in the period compared to 43.9 per cent.

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