Electricity usage: An early signal of the impact of COVID-19 on Uganda’s economy

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the world, several governments have taken unprecedented measures to contain the speed of transmission and buy time to build much-needed testing and treatment capacity.

The problem, however, is that in a rapidly changing global and domestic environment, official government statistics that would typically be availed to policymakers, come with a significant lag (at least a month or more). Therefore, policymakers cannot keep pace with the abrupt economic changes the pandemic and shutdown have caused.

As a result, this creates a costly window of uncertainty in which households are exposed to the full economic costs of the downturn, but policymakers are unable to effectively measure these costs and respond accordingly.

This project attempts to use changes in electricity consumption during the COVID19 pandemic in Uganda to provide a reliable, high frequency indicator of economic activity.

Outputs

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Electricity usage: An early signal of the impact of COVID-19 on Uganda’s economy

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uganda has put in place swift policy responses, including country-wide restrictions on the movement of people and a national curfew. A critical challenge throughout this period has been a lack of timely economic indicators to better understand both the effects of the health crisis and of government policies in response. ...

    30 Mar 2021 | Nicole Ntungire, Leonard Gichia, Priya Manwaring