New Trade Committee will limit data contradictions 

Cargo trucks at Malaba border. PHOTO/ MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI

What you need to know:

 Membership of the Committee will target all key institutions that produce and use Balance of Payments/International Investment Position (IIP) statistics.

For more accurate and timely statistics in Uganda, government has formed a National Balance of Payments Committee.

The National Balance of Payments Committee has been introduced to ensure collaboration among different stakeholders in the production of Balance of Payments BOP/IIP statistics. 

 Membership of the Committee will target all key institutions that produce and use Balance of Payments/International Investment Position (IIP) statistics and other related data.

As such two representatives will be selected from key institutions such as Uganda Bureau of Statistics  (Ubos), Bank of Uganda (BoU), Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda Investment Authority, Uganda Manufactures  Association, Finance Ministry, Economic Policy Research Centre, Uganda Securities Exchange, and Private Sector Foundation Uganda among others as well as representatives from Local Governments. 

The director macroeconomic statistics Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Ms Aliziki Kaudha Lubega said Bank of Uganda and Ubos have been stretching their heads in compiling statistical data because many agencies omit some statistics.

“We have been having the problem of omission of required statistics from some institutions. This makes it hard for us to come out with accurate statistics needed for the compilation of BOP,” she said.     

The International Monetary Fund explains that Balance of payments (BoP) statistics together with the international investments position (IIP) have become important inputs in economic policy formulation. 

 The IMF says the monetary authorities should for any given net IIP, have sufficient arsenal of policy instruments to deal with shocks arising from domestic or foreign sources.

In the quarterly monetary policy report of October 2023, the central bank said the current account deficit although remained high at $1.082 billion in the three months to August 2023, it was 10.8 narrower relative to the same period the previous year.

It pointed out that as the financial account surplus at $1.384 billion exceeded the current account deficit, Uganda’s overall balance of payments was in a surplus of $ 384.0 million during the review period compared to an overall deficit of nearly the same magnitude in the same period a year before. 

This enabled the BoU to build international reserves of the same magnitude and as at the end of August 2023, the stock of reserves was$3.974 billion.