Tanzania Cuts GDP Growth Forecast, Hikes Deficit
(Bloomberg) -- Tanzania has slashed its growth forecast for this year and raised its projected budget deficit, as the East African nation tackles headwinds from Covid-19-induced economic slowdown.
The economy will expand by 4% this year, down from a projection of 5.6% in June, the government said in a letter of intent to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The letter dated Aug. 20 and jointly signed by finance minister Mwigulu Nchemba and Bank of Tanzania Governor Florens Luoga was released by the IMF on September 17.
The government said the country’s fiscal deficit was expected to widen to 3.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021-22, causing a fiscal financing gap of 0.8% of GDP. The finance minister’s previous forecast was for a fiscal deficit of 1.8% of GDP.
The government plans to present to parliament “a supplementary budget in February 2022 after the mid-year review to properly account for all necessary pandemic spending.”
“Against this background we are experiencing an urgent balance of payments financing need of $1.1 billion (1.5% of GDP) in 2021-22,” it said.
The Washington-based lender last month approved nearly $600 million in emergency lending for Tanzania’s health system and economic-recovery efforts as the nation battles the coronavirus pandemic.
In it’s letter to the IMF, the Tanzanian government has pledged to resume publishing pandemic data regularly and transparently by the end of this month. It stopped publishing the data in April 2020 during the previous administration’s Covid-19 denialism.
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