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Central bank says growth to rise in 2019

by Kelvin Chiringa

Amidst weak consumer demand, rising costs of service by the city of Windhoek and negative business activity, the Central Bank of Namibia is confident economic growth will rise in the next financial year.

In its latest economic outlook report issued last week, director in the department of communication and financial sector development at the Bank, Emma Haiyambo said after a projected economic recovery by a slight 0.6% in 2018, improvements of 1.9% will be noted in the next year. 

These estimates are encouraged by improvements in transport and communications, electricity and water and manufacturing together with slower contractions for construction and the wholesale and retail trade sectors.

“The mining sector is also set to continue supporting the domestic economy, albeit with les vigour than in the previous year. In 2019 and beyond GDP growth will be supported by the good performance of uranium mining and improvements in construction and wholesale and retail trade sectors,” she said. 

Risks to the growth projections are weak demand and slow recovery of international commodity prices which may slow down production if they persist leading to further mine closures, especially those of uranium.

Volatility of the local currency and uncertainty about weather conditions are also on the radar as posing potential adverse effects effects to the envisages growth. 

Meanwhile, neighborly Botswana’s growth forecasts outshine Namibia with growth expected to rise to 4.1% and 4.3% in 2019.

At the same time, The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) April World Economic Outlook for 2018 for South Africa raised growth forecasts from 0.9% in 2018 and 2019, to 1.5% and 1.7% respectively.

These changes are on account of the coming aboard of Cyril Ramaphosa to the highest office. 

In the meantime, the bank sees growth on the global front improving this year while growth strengthened to 3.8% in 2017 and will likely continue to reach 3.9% in both 2018 and 2019.