Rwanda’s economy expanded by 10.6% in the first quarter of 2018, where GDP at current market prices was estimated at Frw 1,985 billion, up from Frw 1,816 billion in the previous year.
Announcing the growth numbers for the first quarter of 2018, Yussuf Murangwa, the Director General of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda pointed out that Agriculture grew by 8%, industry by 7% while services registered 12% growth.
He noted that growth in agriculture sector was boosted by a good harvest of food crops in season A of 6%. Export crops grew by 46% mainly due to Tea and Coffee production.
On the industry sector, DG Murangwa attributed growth to an increase of 8% in construction which is recovering following very low growth in 2017. Food processing increased by 9% due to processing of cereals, tea and sugar. Local made products such as textile, clothes & leather products increased by 24%. Chemicals, rubber & plastics grew by 8% boosted by the production of paints and soaps. However, beverages & tobacco decreased by 2%.
Overall activities in the service sector performed well with an increase of 12%. Within this sector, Wholesale and retail trade increased by 26% due to increase in tradable agricultural and manufactured products. Transport activities increased by 28% boosted by air transport that increased by 32%. Information and Communication increased by 24%. Financial services increased by 12% while Public administration increased by 15% and Human health & social work activities increased by 7%.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana said that government will continue to create a conducive environment that supports the economy to grow. He said, “This is a consecutive quarter our economy has registered double digit growth. Going forward we hope to keep the momentum”.
Rwanda’s economy registered 6.1% growth in 2017 buoyed by 10.5% growth in the fourth quarter. According to IMF and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning projections, the economy is expected to grow by 7.2% in 2018.