Tanzania sees economy expanding at 7.5 pct in 2017 – Finance Ministry

A general picture shows the skyline of Tanzania's port cty of Dar es Salaam, July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Emmanuel
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DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s government has set an economic growth target of 7.5 percent in 2017, compared to an estimate of 7.2 percent this year, and plans to hike spending in the 2017/18 fiscal year by 11.5 percent to 32.9 trillion shillings ($15.1 billion).

The Tanzanian economy grew 7 percent last year, driven by transport, construction, communications and financial sectors.

Africa’s fourth-largest gold producer has vast deposits of natural gas, coal, diamonds, uranium and gemstones. But 70 percent of the population rely on agriculture for a living and many have not benefitted from Tanzania’s rapid economic growth.

“The macroeconomic objectives of the government … are to attain gross domestic product growth (GDP) of 7.5 percent in 2017, followed by 7.9 percent in 2018,” Finance and Planning Minister Philip Mpango said in a presentation to parliament seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Mpango said the government was targeting a fiscal deficit, including grants, of not more than 4.5 percent of GDP in the medium term.

Domestic revenues in 2017/17 fiscal year were expected to climb to 32.9 trillion shillings, up from 29.54 trillion shillings in 2016/17, he said.

Government spending over the next fiscal year will focus on infrastructure projects, education, health and water projects, Mpango said.

“The government expects to borrow $900 million from external commercial sources and 4.434 trillion shillings from domestic sources,” he said.

($1 = 2,178.0000 Tanzanian shillings)

(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; Editing by Elias Biryabarema and Raissa Kasolowsky)


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