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Tanzania Q1 2015 GDP growth slows on core industry slump


DAR ES SALAAM  – Slower growth in Tanzania’s mining, manufacturing and agriculture sectors reduced growth in the first quarter versus the same period a year ago, official data showed on Thursday.

The economy grew 6.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2015 from a revised 8.6 percent in first quarter 2014, the state-run National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Slower growth in Tanzania’s mining, said.

Mining, a key source of foreign exchange, fell sharply to 0.6 percent in January to March 2015 from 19.7 percent a year ago, due to a decline in gold, diamond and tanzanite production, the NBS said in a statement.

Gold output fell to 10,458 kg in the first quarter from 10,710 kg a year ago, diamond production dropped to 72,086 carats compared with 94,278 carats, while tanzanite production sunk to 1,606 kg from 4,118 kg, the NBS said.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]

Tanzania has recorded declining revenues from the precious metal over the past two years due to the closure of two mines at the end of their mine life and lower global metal prices.

“The value of the gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices in absolute terms was 21.9 trillion shillings ($10 billion) compared to 18.6 trillion shillings recorded in the corresponding period in 2014,” the NBS said.

Manufacturing expanded by 5.7 percent in the first quarter versus 8.2 percent previously, while agriculture, the biggest contributor to the GDP, slowed to 2.6 percent from 3.4 percent.

Construction expanded by 8.8 percent in the first quarter versus a 21.4 percent previously.

Tanzania’s government has forecast that the economy will grow by 7.4 percent this year from an estimated 7.2 percent in 2014, due to expected strong performance of agriculture, construction and manufacturing sectors.

Tanzania rebased the method of calculating its GDP data in December, which saw its economy expanding by 32 percent to $41.33 billion in 2013.

($1 = 2,126.0000 Tanzanian shillings)(Reuters)

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