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Covid-19: Rwanda economy hit by sharp slowdown

Rwanda’s economy has expanded at a slower pace in the first quarter of 2020 where its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) registered a 3.6 percent growth, a slow down due to COVID-19 compared to 9.4 percent in 2019, an official source revealed Saturday in Kigali.Official data released by the National Bureau of Statistics stated that Rwanda’s 2020 Q2 GDP will be mostly affected and recovery is expected in Q3 and  Q4.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the measure of economic  growth  in Rwanda– is driven by traditional sectors –industry, services and agriculture.

According to the institute, agriculture decreased by 1 percent and reduced 0.1 percentage points to overall GDP growth.

Industry growth was 2 percent and contributed 0.3 percentage points to GDP growth.

The service sector grew by 6 percent and contributed 2.6 percentage points to overall GDP growth.

Data shows that in Q1 of 2020, total final consumption expenditure increased  by 7 percent, with the government’s final expenditures increasing by 15  percent while household final consumption increased by 6 percent.  

Exports increased by 19 percent and imports by 27 percent while Gross Capital Formation increased by 10 percent.

According to economic experts, gross domestic product for the first quarter of 2020  has marked the weakest growth since comparable benchmark records began in early 2017.

Experts say that COVID-19 has created a crisis which has affected many economic activities “starting with the production sector.

People are no longer productive, especially in the first quarter of this year because they are grounded at home thanks to Covid-19 restrictions.

Published on 28.04.2020

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