The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will update its projections of Rwanda’s economic growth after the country reported a sharper decline in gross domestic product (GDP) than earlier anticipated.
According to the Rwanda Institute of Statistics (NISR), GDP slumped by 12.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic that halted all economic activities and trade across the country.
Prior to that, government officials and the central bank had expressed optimism that the economy would rebound in the second quarter and that the economy would withstand shocks brought about by the measures imposed by the government to fight the spread of coronavirus.
“The sharp contraction in economic activity in Quarter two was a negative surprise. We are gearing up for a virtual review mission over between October 5 and 23 and will use this opportunity to hold discussions with Rwandan authorities on the growth outlook and review the evidence with a view of updating our GDP growth forecast,” Samba Mbaye, Resident Representative of IMF in Rwanda told The EastAfrican on Wednesday.
Before the pandemic, IMF had projected Rwanda’s economy to grow at an unprecedented rate of 8.1 percent in 2020.
But the country’s economic outlook worsened instead, leading IMF in June, to further revise downward the 2020 GDP growth forecast from 8.1 to 5.1 percent and to 2.0 percent due to the deepening of the Covid-19 impact.
Much of the rough period was experienced between March and April when the first case of coronavirus had been reported in the country, which led to a total lockdown of economic activity.
However, officials now argue that the economic recovery has been slower than expected even after the Covid-19 measures were relaxed.