Uganda GDP grows 1.4% in final quarter of 2015/16

Uganda’s economic growth picked up in the final quarter of the previous financial year following a contraction in the third quarter.

Real Gross Domestic Product expanded at an annualised rate of 1.4% in the fourth quarter of financial year 2015/2016 (April – June), compared to a 0.1% (revised) decline in the third quarter, according to data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

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The expansion was mainly due to a growth in the industry and service sectors. The value added of industry activities increased by 1.1% in the quarter to Shs2,676 billion from Shs2,646 billion in the third quarter. The value added of services grew by 1.4% to Shs7,294 billion from Shs7,195 billion in the previous quarter.

Agriculture’s contribution to GDP in the quarter declined by 1.1% to Shs3,003 billion from Shs3,037 billion in the third quarter, when it fell 3.5% (revised). Earnings from both food crops and cash crops reduced, by 1.4% and 2.8%. The reduction in earnings from cash crops was mainly a result of lower coffee production in May and June due to inconsistent rains earlier in the season, UBOS said.

A decline in activities in commercial construction knocked down the value added of construction (industrial sector) by 7.4%. Manufacturing and mining activities picked up, driving growth in the industrial sector. The increased production of cement and pharmaceuticals was the biggest contributor to the increase in value added of manufacturing.

The increase in the value added of services was due to an increase in the value added of trade and repairs (2.2%), public administration (11.7%), and education (6.3%). Public administration activities grew as a result of increased expenditures in the accountability and justice, law and order sectors.

Finance and insurance activities declined by 1.7% in the three-month period to their lowest level in four quarters. This was due to a fall in lending activities by commercial banks, UBOS said.

Real GDP expanded 1.4% in the third quarter of 2014/15 and contracted 0.1% in the second quarter of the same year.