Tanzania on track to hit 7.2 pct growth in 2016: central bank

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By Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania’s economy is on track to expand by 7.2 percent in 2016, up from 7 percent in 2015, boosted by construction, an anti-corruption drive and better management of public resources, the central bank governor said on Wednesday.

President John Magufuli, elected last year, has launched a campaign against corruption and government waste, and promised to improve transport links and other infrastructure.

The International Monetary Fund told Tanzania in July to curb public spending, which has risen on the back of its infrastructure plans, and urged the government to implement structural reforms.

“Economic growth this year will be boosted by the government’s ongoing efforts to tackle corruption, strengthen the management of public resources and construction of infrastructure as part of the country’s industrialisation plan,” Bank of Tanzania Governor Benno Ndulu told a news conference.

Ndulu also said the shilling had been steady in the first half of 2016 thanks to growing exports of goods and services and a slide in import costs, largely due to weaker global oil prices.

The governor said the shilling had traded in a range of 2,180 to 2,190 to the dollar in the first six months of 2016. At 1257 GMT on Wednesday, banks quoted the shilling at 2,177.

“We expect the shilling to remain stable for the rest of the year,” he said, adding that inflation was expected to remain in single digits in line with the government’s mid-term target of 5 percent. It was 4.9 percent in the year to August.

(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Robin Pomeroy and Hugh Lawson)


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