Optimism as GDP edges up, Tanzania gets 7.2tr/- richer

Dr Mgimwa
Tanzania was 7.2tr/- (about $4,5 billion) richer last year than it was in 2011, the latest economic data shows, giving hope that the country is on the right economic track.

The March 2013 data, published by the Planning Commission, put the total market value of all goods and services produced in Tanzania last year, that is, gross domestic product (GDP) at Sh44.7 trillion (about $27.95 billion).

Tanzania’s GDP growth rate braved the gloomy global growth outlook to leapfrog by 6.9 per cent and settle comfortably on Sh44.7 trillion from the 2011 level of Sh37.5 trillion.

Much of the growth, according to the Planning Commission, came from the services sector which contributed a cool 47.6 per cent to the economy last year as agriculture contributed 26.8 per cent.

A combination of the manufacturing and construction sectors took up 24 per cent as the fisheries sector trailed in the list with a 1.6 per cent contribution.

Economists say it is too early to celebrate as growth seems to be concentrated in sectors that do not employ a sizeable number of people and therefore, making it hard for the trickle-down effect to be easily felt.

“That the economy is growing is an open secret, but it will take time before that growth starts to positively affect a majority of the country’s population,” said Prof Humphrey Moshi of the University of Dar es Salaam.

This, he said, was because to yield meaningful gains, the growth is supposed to be above eight per cent continuously for a number of years and that growth should be stronger in sectors that employ huge numbers of the country’s population such as agriculture.
Source: The Citizen, www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Veneranda Sumila in Dar es Salaam
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