(Adds details on economic performance, background)
DAR ES SALAAM, Sept 8 Tanzania's economic growth
slowed in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same
period last year, hurt by a slump in construction, transport and
manufacturing sectors, official data showed on Thursday.
The state-run National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a
statement gross domestic product grew 5.5 percent in the first
quarter compared with 5.7 percent in the same period a year ago.
NBS said the construction sector grew 4.3 percent in January
to March, compared with 23.2 percent a year ago due to low
investment in the activity during the period under review.
"The performance of the first quarter GDP 2016 indicates
that the financial and insurance services recorded the highest
growth rate of 13.5 percent followed by information and
communication at 13.4 percent," it said.
The transport sector grew 7.9 percent in the first quarter
compared with 14.5 percent a year ago, while growth in the
manufacturing sector also slowed to 7.4 percent from 9.9 percent
a year ago.
Mining, financial services, agriculture and communications
grew faster compared with first quarter 2015, NBS said.
The statistics office did not give more explanations behind
the performance of the various sectors.
Tanzania's economy, Africa's fourth biggest gold miner, also
relies on rain-fed farming, tourism, mining, financial services
Tanzania sees economic growth rising to 7.2 percent this
year from 7.0 percent in 2015, making it one of the fastest
growing economies in Africa.
The mining sector grew 6.5 percent in Q1 2016 compared to
0.6 percent recorded during a similar quarter of 2015.
The communications sector grew 13.4 percent in the first
quarter of 2016, from 11.5 percent a year ago, while agriculture
grew 2.7 percent from 1.9 percent previously.
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by George Obulutsa
and Louise Ireland)