REPORT: Investors express optimism about Uganda’s business environment

KAMPALA, Uganda | Xinhua | Investors in Uganda have expressed optimism about the business environment, especially in the manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors in the East African country, according to a government report released on Tuesday.

The optimism is shown by the Business Tendency Index, which remained above the 50-mark threshold, increasing to 55.57 in April 2024 from 55.54 the previous month, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development said in its Performance of the Economy Monthly Report for April.

Other high-frequency indicators of economic activity also showed that business conditions in the country continued to strengthen. The Purchasing Manager’s Index increased to 52.6 in April 2024 from 49.3 in March 2024. This rise signaled an improvement in business conditions across the country, supported by increased new orders, output and employment during the month.

According to the report, exports increased by 0.2 percent from 633 million U.S. dollars in February 2024 to 634.43 million dollars in March 2024. This increase was mainly due to a rise in export receipts from tobacco, sesame, hides and skins, and gold.

The imports also increased by 14.1 percent to about one billion dollars in March 2024, from 909.54 million dollars the previous month. This was mainly attributed to an increase in private sector imports particularly vegetable products, beverages, fats and oil; mineral products (excluding petroleum products); and plastics, rubber and related products.

As a result of the increase in the import bill surpassing the gains in export receipts, Uganda’s trade deficit widened by 45.9 percent to 403.41 million dollars in March 2024 from 276.54 million dollars the previous month.

Annual headline inflation reduced to 3.2 percent in April 2024 from 3.3 percent in March 2024. This was primarily attributed to a stronger deflation in food crop prices during April 2024 compared to the deflation recorded in March 2024, the report said. ■

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