Zanzibar Economy to Grow By Eight Percent

The island of Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s economy is likely to grow as projected at 7.9 per cent, the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) has said.

The Isles gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate for the first quarter of 2011 was estimated to grow by 5.6 per cent, compared with 5.3 per cent recorded in a similar period of 2010.

“The projected economic growth of 7.9 per cent for the year 2011 is likely to be attained,” the BoT said in Monetary Policy statement for the first six months of this fiscal year, issued last week. The growth is attributed to increased clove output, more tourist arrivals and better infrastructure.

The report shows that during the period, tourist arrivals reached 125,777 from 91,326 recorded in the corresponding period of 2010. Clove production increased from 19,000 tonnes in 2010 to 22,000 tonnes in 2011. Despite the GDP growth, annual headline inflation rose to 20.8 per cent in December 2011 from 6.0 per cent in December 2010.

“(This is) mainly due to increase in prices of petroleum products and food items notably rice, fish, wheat flour and sugar,” BoT says. Annual food inflation was 25.6 per cent compared to 4.8 per cent in December 2010, while that of nonfood was 15.3 per cent compared to 8.3 per cent.

However, the central bank says” inflation is expected to ease during the second half of 2011/12 on account of leveling of the global oil and food prices”. Zanzibar government expenditure reached 192.7bn/-, above the projection by 1.2 per cent. Recurrent expenditure was 113bn/-, broadly in line with the budget, while development expenditure was 79.7bn/-, above the budget by 3.8 per cent.