September 25, 2017 / 8:30 AM / 2 years ago

Rwandan growth slows, minister sees rebound

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L) is greeted by Rwanda's Finance Minister Claver Gatete at the Ministry of Finance Building in Kigali January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Stephen Jaffe

KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwanda’s economic growth slowed to 4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, data showed on Monday, though the finance minister said he was expecting an improvement in the rest of the year.

The figure was almost half the 7.5 percent reported by the statistics office for the same period a year earlier.

Wholesale and retail trade contracted by 6 percent, while agriculture expanded by 6 percent, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) said in a statement.

Industry grew by one percent while services surged seven percent, it added.

Finance Minister Claver Gatete said he expected the third and fourth quarters to perform better than the first two, supported by stronger activity in construction, services and agriculture.

“There is a clear improvement and for the next two quarters we are ... going back to normal high growth,” Gatete said.

A new GDP projection for 2017 will be issued around October after a meeting with a team from the International Monetary Fund, Gatete said. The current growth forecast for the year is 6.2 percent.

The central bank’s repo rate-setting body is due to meet on Wednesday.

Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Editing by George Obulutsa and Andrew Heavens

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