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Tanzania to review 2018 GDP

NAIROBI/DAR ES SALAAM — Tanzania’s statistics agency said on Thursday it may review its economic growth figure for 2018 after the World Bank came up with a significantly lower one.

In the second major report this year from a multilateral financial institution contradicting rosier government figures, the Washington-based Bank said gross domestic product expanded 5,2% last year as investment, exports and private lending declined.

Tanzania’s finance minister told parliament last month that growth was 7% last year

The World Bank, which makes its calculations based on state data, forecast 2019 growth at 5,4% — again markedly lower than the government’s estimate of 7,1%.

Albina Chuwa, head of the state-run National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), defended its methodology and conclusions.

“We have gone across the country to do actual data collection in the field, unlike someone sitting in Washington doing GDP modelling on your behalf,” she said.

“For national planning purposes, we will continue to use the official data of 7%.”

But local authorities would meet World Bank representatives in August to look at the bank’s assumptions. “So we may also come up with something else and review the GDP figures,” she said.

Reuters

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