Tanzania’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to 8.6 percent registered in the same period last year, the East African country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.
“Tanzania’s economy is feeling the pinch of slow development recorded in major economic activities especially mining, agriculture and manufacturing sectors,” NBS said in a statement.
The value of the GDP at current prices in absolute terms was 11 billion U.S. dollars compared to 9.3 billion U.S. dollars recorded in the corresponding period in 2014, said the statement.
It said that the mining sector which was mainly for exports grew by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to 19.7 per cent growth rate recorded last year as production of gold, diamond and tanzanite declined.
Production of gold, the second Tanzania’s foreign exchange earner after tourism, was 10,458 kg compared with 10,710 kg produced last year following low output at Tulawaka mine amid price drop in the world market, according the NBS Director of Economic Statistics Morrice Oyuke.
Diamond production decreased from 94,278 carats to 72,086 carats while tanzanite fell from 4,118 kg to 1,606 kg.
Agriculture which contributes the largest share to the GDP, slowed to 2.6 percent from 3.4 percent.
“We are aware that Tulawaka was handed over to State Mining Corporation and since then its production performance is very low. On the other hand, the weather was not good for agriculture and that affected its growth. All these are important sectors and when they shake, the economy slows as well,” said Oyuke.
Construction grew by 8.8 percent in the first quarter compared with 21.4 percent registered previously while manufacturing expanded by 5.7 percent in the same period against 8.2 percent before.
While mining was the worst performing sector of the economy in the first quarter, electricity and water was the best performer having grown by 10.7 percent compared with 10.1 percent recorded earlier. Enditem