Consumer confidence in Tanzania dropped sharply in February as the reality of COVID-19 sets in the country and people are bracing with new cases and deaths.
Kasi Tanzania CCI came in at +5 down 26 points from the previous month and reached its lowest level since September 2020. Consumer confidence in Tanzania had largely been immune to the COVID-19 given the government stand and denial of the coronavirus.
The country’s president Magufuli’s who had downplayed the threat from COVID-19 died on March 17 from a “heart condition” at a hospital in Dar-Es-Salaam, an illness he had been battling for the last 10 years according to the country’s vice president Samia Suluhu Hassan.
The authorities’ refusal to lock down the country may have contributed to many cases and unknown deaths. According to the Africa CDC, as of 19th March 2021, the number of Covid-19 infections in the country stood at 308 with 21 deaths and 180 recoveries.
One year ago, when COVID-19 hit the continent, the index fell to -17.
“It is not clear how the regime’s actions will change, but a new leader is an opportunity to wash away the sins of the past, in words even if not in deeds. I expect at least a feigning of reform, perhaps a change of course on COVID-19, and token liberalizations.
Whether or not Tanzania changes its course on authoritarianism or anything else depends on to what extent there is a changing of the guard,” said Dan Paget, a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
All seven measures that make up the consumer-confidence index dropped sharply from the previous month in February.
Economic expectations for the coming six months dropped 28 points, its lowest level since September 2020.
The major purchase index, which gauges demand among shoppers, dropped by six points.