Low inflation, stable currency spur Tanzania economy

Monday January 8 2018

In Africa, Tanzania remains among the top performers for having a steady growth rate in 2017.

In Africa, Tanzania remains among the top performers for having a steady growth rate in 2017. FOTOSEARCH 

By DOROTHY NDALU
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The Tanzania economy grew by Tsh1.62 trillion ($726.8 million) in the first half of the current financial year. It registered a GDP of Tsh25.5 trillion ($11.5 billion) compared with Tsh23.9 trillion ($10.7 billion) in the corresponding period in 2016.

Finance and Planning Minister Dr Phillip Mpango said the GDP growth, at 6.8 per cent, was slower than the 7.7 per cent growth in the first six months of the 2016/7 fiscal period.

Tanzania recorded the best growth rate in the East African Community.

Kenya, for example, recorded 4.9 per cent in the first half of 2017, a drop from 5.9 per cent attained in 2016, while Rwanda’s averaged 7.2 per cent from 2000 until 2017, down from 8.1 per cent in 2016. Uganda recorded a 4.9 per cent growth in 2017, up from 3.8 per cent in 2016.

Steady growth

In Africa, Tanzania remains among the top performers for having a steady growth rate in 2017. The economy is expected to grow by 7.0 per cent and continue to grow on average of 7.4 per cent in the medium term.

According to the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics, Ethiopia’s growth slowed from 10.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent while Democratic Republic of Congo’s growth rate accelerated from 8.5 per cent to 9 per cent growth last year.

Cote d’Ivoire’s slowed from 7.7 per cent to 7.5 per cent as Mozambique’s was flat at 7.3 per cent.

Inflation

Inflation stayed at around 5.4 per cent between January and November 2017, before dropping to 4.4 per cent.

In the EAC, average inflation generally continued to be at one base. Tanzania has the lowest rate of 5.4 per cent and Kenya highest at 8.3 per cent.

“The value of Tanzania shilling against the dollar during 2017 has been stable,” Dr Mpango said.

In October 2017, one dollar was adjusted at an average of Sh2,238.03 compared with the shilling average 2,175.49 in the same period in 2016. Dr Mpango congratulated the Bank of Tanzania for prudent management and stabilising of the shilling.

The government further directed that henceforth, all pricing in the country will be denominated in the local unit. These include house and office rental space, land, education, health and transport fees as well as the price of electronic equipment.

Dr Mpango added that pricing whose principal beneficiaries are tourists or non-residents can be denoted in foreign currency and payment may also be made in foreign currency.

“Exchange rates will be used to encourage transparency. Only banks and foreign exchange stores are allowed to post exchange rates due to competition for foreign currency,” he said.

The Minister said that no Tanzanian resident should be forced to pay for any goods or services in the country in foreign currency.

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