The Namibian export index improved by 2.5 basic points in the first quarter of this year, analyst firm IJG has noted in their latest business climate index.
According to the firm, the export index improved slightly on the back of higher monk fish prices which increased by 53% month-on-month although it was the only export indicator that improved.
However, the beef and mutton prices went down 12% and 8% respectively while metal and uranium prices fell to 4.1%.
“The IJG Business Climate Index climbed 3.2 index points but was still emerging from its trough at the end of last year when 18 points were shed in the final quarter.
“Therefore the business climate, although improving, remains depressed as reflected in the three-month moving average which is still declining,” IJG notes.
According to IJG, consumer confidence was spurred on by improved passenger vehicle sales, which rose 27% month-on-month before the tax year ended.
This, IJG argues, resulted in the consumption index climbing up by 6.2 index points.
IJG further say that although the investment index inched upwards by 1.2 index points, businesses are not investing as much as they did last year and the improvement recorded in February is merely statistical due to a low-base effect (a rise that follows an abnormally large drop in the Index).
“The slowdown is evident in credit extension numbers (where credit growth to the business sector seems to have peaked), the deceleration in the NSX local index, a sluggish construction industry and declines in commercial vehicle sales.
“Therefore businesses feel that the current climate is not conducive for investment. The leading indicator remained flat and a continuation of this becalmed business climate is expected six months down the line,” IJG notes.