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Labour unrests make 2013 uncertain - Schade

Sun, 16 December 2012 18:30
by Business Writer
Business

Klaus Schade of the Research Associate at Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) stressed that although agriculture recorded a decline in added value in the third quarter of the year, it is bound to seasonality.
The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) this week pointed out that the third quarter GDP recorded a decline of 5.4% following an increase of 2.2% recorded in the preceding quarter.
“Year on year, the unadjusted GDP has recorded a decline of 1.3% in the third quarter of 2012 compared to a growth of 4.5 % registered in the same quarter of 2011,” it said.
The decline was attributed to agriculture, fishing and manufacturing sectors which declined in real value of 4.3%, 18.9% and 6.1% respectively.
The agriculture sector decline of 4.3% was caused by the livestock subsector that declined by 8.6%. It was reflected in the number of cattle and pigs marketed that declined by 29.5% and 15%.
“The substantial increase in crop harvest will boost the agriculture sector‘s output, which will further be supported by an expected above average grape harvest,” Schade said.
He later noted that the economical situation in Southern Africa does affect the local economy in case of turbulence. Hence the depreciation of the South African rand against major currencies which was caused by labour unrest does increase uncertainty in the economical outlook of 2013. In case, the South African economy does not perform well in the future, it will eventually affect the Namibian import, he noted.
Referring to the recent inflation rise that is now standing at 10% Schade emphasised the fact that although the interest rates remains at 5.5%, citizens should be careful at credit  borrowing as this inflation will end up hitting them hard.
While the high income earners can find their way around this high inflation, Schade notes that the low income earners will suffer the most.
“Corporate institutions can work on salary adjustments to alleviate the burden that comes with the inflation. However, people working in informal settlement or farmers are at disadvantage,” he said.
Strong performances by the construction sector this year were still not good enough to improve year on year contributions to the economy a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to an analysis released by the NSA.
The real value added for the construction sector registered a growth of 10.9% in the third quarter of 2012 compared to 14.1% recorded in the same quarter of 2011. The slower growth was mainly due to the value of buildings completed that recorded a decline of 27.9%.  The decline in the value of buildings completed in turn was mainly reflected in the category “additions to buildings” as stated by NSA.
This decline was mainly due to the slowdown in the building activity in the central and northern regions that declined by 55.9% and 17.7% respectively. In addition, the value of construction works for general government also registered a decline of 0.7%.
On the other hand, construction recorded a 33.4% increase in the value of building plans approved.