Uganda’s export earnings hit Sh2.41 trillion: new report

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Uganda exported goods worth $634.43 million (about 2.410 trillion shillings) in March 2024, up 0.2% from 633.0 million dollars (about 2.402 trillion shillings) in the previous month .

This is clear from a new report from the Ministry of Finance on the performance of the economy, which was shared on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

The report says this increase was mainly due to an increase in export earnings from tobacco, simsim, hides and skins, as well as gold.

Merchandise imports also increased by 14.1% to $1,037.84 million in March 2024, up from $909.54 million in the previous month.

“This was mainly attributed to an increase in private sector imports, particularly of vegetable products, beverages, fats and oils; mineral products (except petroleum products); and plastics, rubber and related products,” says the monthly report for April 2024.

As a result of the increase in the import bill outpacing the gains in export earnings, the ministry says Uganda’s trade deficit with the rest of the world widened by 45.9% to $403.41 million in March 2024 from $276.54 million the previous month.

It also reported that overall economic activity strengthened and the outlook for business conditions was optimistic.

This is demonstrated by high-frequency indicators of economic activity: the Composite Index of Economic Activity (CIEA), the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) and the Business Trend Index (BTI), all of which increased, he says.

“The Composite Economic Activity Index rose further to 162.38 in March 2024 from 162.19 in the previous month, indicating improvement in economic activity. The increase in CIEA was mainly due to increased activity in the agricultural and industrial sectors,” he adds.

According to the report, the PMI reversed its downward trend and crossed the threshold of 50 to 52.6 in April 2024 from 49.3 the previous month.

“This rebound signaled an improvement in trading conditions driven by higher demand, which supported an increase in new orders and production. The PMI also revealed a likely increase in staff among companies, pointing to the likelihood of companies hiring new staff during the month as future production prospects look promising,” he said.

The report also says that at the sector level, the construction, industrial, services and wholesale and retail sectors recorded increased activity.