Hailemariam says Ethiopia’s GDP grew by 9.7 percent

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Addis Ababa, 24 April 2014 (WIC) – Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 9.7 percent last budget year; failing short of the government’s target of 11 percent.

Presenting third quarter report of the budget year for parliamentarians, Hailemariam expressed satisfaction with the country’s economic performance recorded amid global economic slowdown.

In comparison to sub-Saharan Africa average of 5.4 percent economic growth during the period, Hailemariam said the government is encouraged by the country’s sustained growth. The government’s projection for the current budget year stands at 11.3 percent.

The Prime Minister also said inflation remained at seven percent during the 12 months to February 2014.

During the past nine months of the current fiscal year, agricultural exports recorded a growth of 9 percent, Hailemariam reported.

The export was highly impacted by a decline in global coffee price, Ethiopia’s longtime leading foreign export earner. Export of coffee showed a decline of 25 percent during the past nine months.

However, Hailemariam said, other agricultural exports such as oilseeds, pulses, floriculture and fruits & vegetables showed a growth of 58%, 11%, 7% and 1%, respectively.

Overall, the export sector grew by just above 2% during the last nine months - meeting 63 percent of the government’s projection for the period.

The less-than-expected performance of the export sector was also affected by the fall in the price of gold, another major export item, in the global market. The global price of gold dropped nearly 30 percent at the end of 2013.

To counter the effect of global market, Hailemariam said, the government will intensify follow up and support efforts in the remaining three months of the budget year.

The Prime Minister said efforts are underway to improve the quantity and quality of the export of coffee and gold to improve earnings.

The manufacturing sector grew by 11.4 percent during the past nine months with leather & leather products and textile & clothing registering a 12% and 14% growth, respectively.
Hailemariam’s report also addressed good governance, education, health, foreign relation and security issues.

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