Tanzania: Economy#

Tanzania is one of the world's poorest economies in terms of per capita income, but has achieved high growth rates based on its vast natural resource wealth and tourism. GDP growth in 2009-15 was an impressive 6-7% per year. Dar es Salaam used fiscal stimulus measures and easier monetary policies to lessen the impact of the global recession. Tanzania has largely completed its transition to a market economy, though the government retains a presence in sectors such as telecommunications, banking, energy, and mining.

The economy depends on agriculture, which accounts for more than one-quarter of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs about 80% of the work force; agriculture accounts for 7% of government expenditures. All land in Tanzania is owned by the government, which can lease land for up to 99 years. Proposed reforms to allow for land ownership, particularly foreign land ownership, remain unpopular.

The financial sector in Tanzania has expanded in recent years and foreign-owned banks account for about 48% of the banking industry's total assets. Competition among foreign commercial banks has resulted in significant improvements in the efficiency and quality of financial services, though interest rates are still relatively high, reflecting high fraud risk. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment.

The World Bank, the IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's aging infrastructure, including rail and port, that provide important trade links for inland countries. In 2013, Tanzania completed the world's largest Millennium Challenge Compact grant, worth $698 million, and, in December 2014, the Millennium Challenge Corporation selected Tanzania for a second Compact.

In late 2014, a highly publicized scandal in the energy sector involving senior Tanzanian officials resulted in international donors freezing nearly $500 million in direct budget support to the government. The Tanzanian shilling weakened in 2015 because of lower gold prices, election-related political risk, and outflows from emerging market currencies generally.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$150.6 billion (2016 est.)
$140.6 billion (2015 est.)
$131.4 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$46.7 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate7.2% (2016 est.)
7% (2015 est.)
7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,100 (2016 est.)
$2,900 (2015 est.)
$2,800 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving21.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
22% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 62.3%
government consumption: 13.4%
investment in fixed capital: 36.5%
investment in inventories: -5.9%
exports of goods and services: 22.9%
imports of goods and services: -29.2% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 25.1%
industry: 27.6%
services: 47.3% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscoffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats
Industriesagricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine); mining (diamonds, gold, and iron), salt, soda ash; cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products, fertilizer
Industrial production growth rate6% (2016 est.)
Labor force26.96 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
Population below poverty line67.9% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 29.6% (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index37.6 (2007)
34.6 (2000)
Budgetrevenues: $6.257 billion
expenditures: $8.084 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues13.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt36.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year1 July - 30 June
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.2% (2016 est.)
5.6% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate8.25% (31 December 2010)
3.7% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate14.2% (31 December 2016 est.)
16.1% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$4.957 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.457 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$8.072 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$7.533 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$11.15 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.484 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.803 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.539 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.264 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Current account balance-$4.121 billion (2016 est.)
-$4.007 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$5.985 billion (2016 est.)
$5.709 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgold, coffee, cashew nuts, manufactures, cotton
Exports - partnersIndia 21.4%, China 8.1%, Japan 5.1%, Kenya 4.6%, Belgium 4.3% (2015)
Imports$9.976 billion (2016 est.)
$9.843 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesconsumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, industrial raw materials, crude oil
Imports - partnersChina 34.6%, India 13.5%, South Africa 4.7%, UAE 4.4%, Kenya 4.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$3.771 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.073 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: excludes gold
Debt - external$15.89 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$15.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
Exchange ratesTanzanian shillings (TZS) per US dollar -
2,182.3 (2016 est.)
1,989.7 (2015 est.)
1,989.7 (2014 est.)
1,654 (2013 est.)
1,583 (2012 est.)