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Domestic Economy Expanding Slow Compared to 2021 – NSA…as GDP stood at N$50 billion with an import bill of N$1.3 billion

By: Justicia Shipena

Although the Namibia Statistic Agency (NSA) released data that the domestic economy expanded by 4.3% during the third quarter of 2022, it has been seen as a slow growth compared to the same period in 2021.

On Thursday NSA released its overview of economic developments during the third quarter of 2022 “which has been a slow growth compared to a growth of 5.6% posted in quarter three of 202.”

NSA statistician general and chief executive officer Alex Shimuafeni said the slow performance is largely attributed to the contractions observed in the sectors of agriculture and forestry, financial services activities, and public administration and defence.

The statistics show that the sectors posted declines in real value added of 14.2%, 4.7%, and 2.7%, respectively.

Shimuafeni stated that in the period under review activities slowed in the sector of mining and quarrying and hotels and restaurants from a growth of 34.4% and 19.6% in real value added recorded in the third quarter of 2021 in comparison to the 14.9% and 1.7% in real value added.

“Positive growths were primarily driven by sectors of manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade sectors posting increases of 12.9%, and 10.2% in real value-added, in comparison to the 6.9%, and 0.4% registered in the corresponding quarter of 2021,” he said.

Shimuafeni said in the quarter under review, gross domestic product (GDP) in nominal terms, stood at N$50.0 billion, up by N$4.4 billion when compared to the N$45.6 billion registered in the corresponding quarter of 2021.

NSA statistics show total demand in the economy slowed down, observed in all the components of final demand except Gross Fixed Capital Formation.

“Private final consumption expenditure slowed down to register 12.8% during the period under review, compared to the 30.1% recorded in the parallel quarter of 2021,” Shimuafeni said.

He added that the slowdown in demand for final goods is due to the pressure on income as prices rise resulting in reduced imports for consumption.

Moreover, he revealed that government final consumption expenditure posted a slower growth of 0.2%, in comparison to the 1.2% recorded in the third quarter of 2021.

This, he said, reflects the ongoing fiscal consolidation as government continues to curb expenditure.

“In as much as Gross fixed capital expenditure posted a decline of 12.8% during the period under review, this shows an improved performance relative to the contraction of 24.6% registered in the same quarter of 2021,” he said.

In addition, the NSA said the annual inflation rate for November 2022 stood at 7.0%. Transport and food and non-alcoholic beverages were the main contributors to overall annual percentage changes contributing 2.7% points 1.8% points.

“Monthly, the inflation rate was estimated at 0.5% compared to 0.2% registered a month earlier,” he added.

He noted that the increase in the annual inflation emanated mainly in the categories of transport with 18.3%, hotels, cafes, and restaurants (11.3%), furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (10.5%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (9.4%), recreation and culture (5.0%) and Alcoholic beverages and tobacco (4.8%).

Meanwhile, the annual inflation rates for goods were estimated at 9.6%, while those for services was 3.4%.

“An indication that on an annual basis the average prices of goods continued accelerating faster than those for services during the period of November 2022.”

On agriculture in the third quarter, Shimuafeni said the production of cereal crops in the period stood at 35 487 tons compared to 47 992 tons recorded in the same period of 2021.

At the same time, white maize accounted for 94.5% which is 33 549 tons of the cereal production, while millet and wheat reported 1 825 tons and 113 tons.

He said Namibia’s export earnings from commodities of agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors amounted to N$3.7 billion whereas the import bill stood at N$1.3 billion for the third quarter of 2022.

“The Fisheries products accounted for the highest foreign earnings at N$2.7 billion followed by the agriculture commodities that brought income of N$606.0 million,” Shimuafeni stated.

According to the NSA, agriculture commodities topped the list with an import bill of N$747.1 million during the third quarter of 2022.

Justicia Shipena

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