Officials at Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) have announced plans to rebase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after about a decade.
GDP rebasing is the changing from old base year price structure to a recent base year in compiling composition of GDP.
Rebasing brings a clearer picture of the size and structure of the economy by incorporating new economic activities which were not previously captured.
It is also useful in ensuring that national accounts, statistics and figures reflect the real position of the economy.
Uganda’s current base year (year for prices are held constant) is 2002.
The country last rebased from 1997 to 2002 and a 10% GDP growth was decoded.
Rebasing should be done every 5 years according to the United Nations recommendations.
UBOS chief statistician Chris Mukiza told reporters on Friday that the base year is set to be renewed to 2010.
This, he said would be announced on November 28, about a week after unveiling the preliminary results of the recently concluded national census.
Uganda’s GDP as of June this year stands at $24.8 billion, and economists predict that after rebasing it might shoot up by over 20%, considering a number of economic activities that have come up over the years including the recent discovery of oil.
Several African counties have in the last few years rebased and recorded significant GDP growths.
In April for instance, Nigeria rebased from 1990 to 2010 and her economy doubled to about $500 billion, overtaking South Africa to become Africa’s biggest.
Dr. Mukiza said the year 2009/10 was chosen because it was the most stable in the recent past.
“We believe that quite a lot has changed in the past years in the economy and we have all the data we need to switch to a new base year,” he said.
The Bureau has conducted a number of studies in last couple of years including an agricultural census, a household survey, agricultural census, livestock census, business inquiry among others, all of which will inform the rebased GDP.