GDP growth in last quarter of 2019 slows on lower mining output

Real GDP growth in the last three months of 2019 was the weakest in ten quarters

Economic growth in Uganda slowed down in the last three months of 2019 amid a decline in mining and quarrying output, according to seasonally adjusted estimates from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

The country’s gross domestic product grew at 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019 to Shs30.1 trillion, down from 6.6% in the three months to the end of September 2019. Economic growth in the quarter, also the second quarter of the 2019/2020 fiscal year, was the weakest in ten quarters.

Chart showing Uganda's quarterly GDP growth between 2011 and 2019

Mining and quarrying, part of the industry sector, fell 24.2% year on year in the quarter compared to growth of 51.3% in the third quarter. Overall, industrial output rose 3.5% year on year, down from 8.9% in the previous quarter, and accounted for 23.8% of economic activity.

Accommodation and food services also contributed negatively to GDP growth, falling 1.2% to Shs2.6 trillion; in the third quarter, the sub-sector posted growth of 3.3%. In addition, real estate activities declined by 4.4% versus a decline of 2.7% in Q3. Services, which accounted for 50.4% of GDP, increased by 5.1%, slower than in the previous quarter when the sector rose 6.6%.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing expanded by 4.9%, down from 5% in the previous quarter. Fishing rose 25.6% compared to 46.9% in the third quarter. Livestock and cash crops both rose 7.7% and 10.5% respectively, with both sectors growing faster than in the previous three months. The agriculture sector’s share of total GDP was 23.9%.

The biggest contributions to growth in the quarter were from manufacturing, transportation and storage, and administrative and support services. Manufacturing grew at 6.5%, transportation and storage at 12.7%, while administrative and support services rose 7.6%.

Taxes on products rose 3.6% to Shs748bn compared to a decline of 0.2% in the third quarter; their share of total GDP was 2.5%.

Quarterly GDP growth

GDP growth from the previous three months was recorded at 0.3%, down from 1% in the third quarter, the slowest quarterly expansion in thirteen quarters, according to the seasonally adjusted estimates.

The weaker quarterly growth was mainly due to declines in mining and quarrying out, accommodation and food services, food crops, and human health and social work. Mining and quarrying fell 25.3%, accommodation and food services were down 3.1, food crops declined by 0.6%, while human health and social work decreased by 3.3%.

Manufacturing was the biggest contributor to quarterly GDP growth, increasing by 3.2%.  Transport and storage also helped, rising 1.8%, financial and insurance