DAR ES SALAAM – Tanzania’s economy grew around 7.1 percent last year, beating the government’s own revised forecast, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said.
In November, the East African country trimmed its gross domestic product (GDP) to 7.0 percent from 7.1 percent. That forecast had also been revised from 7.4 percent.
But Majaliwa said East Africa’s third-largest economy grew faster than expected last year owing to an increase in mining activity.
“Latest data … shows that the country’s gross domestic product grew 7.1 percent in the period between January and December 2017, compared to a GDP growth of 7.0 percent in 2016,” Majaliwa said in the parliamentary presentation obtained by Reuters.
The session on Monday was held behind closed doors.
Full-year GDP growth in 2017 was driven by mining and quarrying (17.5 percent), transport and storage (16.6 percent) and construction (14.7 percent) activities, he said.
The World Bank cut its forecast for Tanzania’s full-year GDP growth in November to 6.6 percent due to slowdowns in public spending and growth of credit to the private sector.
Tanzania has pledged to boost public investment in infrastructure projects, including a standard gauge railway, new roads and an expansion of ports.
But some investors have been unnerved by some policies from the government of President John Magufuli, who is nicknamed “The Bulldozer” for his governing style.
“There appears to have been an overall deterioration in business sentiment due to the perceived risks resulting from the unpredictability of policy actions,” the World Bank said in its economic update on Tanzania in November.
Editing by Aaron Maasho and Pritha Sarkar