The domestic economy’s performance continued an upward trend, recording a growth of 5.3% in the first quarter of 2022 when compared to a decline of 4.9% registered in the corresponding quarter of 2021. The last time the economy recorded positive economic growth for four consecutive quarters was between the fourth quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018.
According to Alex Shimuafeni, CEO at the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), the economy’s size was estimated at N$46 billion as measured by the nominal gross domestic product (GDP,) relative to the N$43 billion posted in the same quarter of 2021, year-on-year. He made this statement last week during a review of Q1 2022.
He noted that the increase in economic activities were largely driven by the resurgence of the mining and quarrying sector, which registered a strong growth of 23.5%.
“Similar observations were noticeable in the manufacturing, transport and storage and financial services’ sectors that recorded growths in real value added of 7.5%, 6.3%, and 5.1%, respectively,” Shimuafeni stated. The figures were contained in the gross domestic product report for 2022’s first quarter, released by the agency.
Furthermore, sectors such as health, agriculture and forestry, information and communication and hotels and restaurants posted growths of 8.9%, 5.9%, 4.8%, and 4.4%, respectively.
However, the statistics body’s CEO noted that construction activities remained subdued, posting a decline of 7.5% in real value added, while the fishing sector registered a modest decline of 2% during the period under review.
On the demand side, he said consumer confidence and appetite for final consumption is evident in the improved final consumption expenditure, which posted a growth of 12.2% during the period under review, relative to the contraction of 4.9% in Q1 of 2021.
The improved appetite is further reflected in household spending on imported final goods, which posted a strong growth of 10.6% in real terms, compared to a modest growth of 2.4% in parallel quarter of 2021.
In its analysis, the High Economic Intelligence (HEI) research entity said the organic pace of recovery for domestic demand is expected to be slowed by higher commodity prices and elevated uncertainty related to the Russia-Ukraine
External demand is anticipated to also be affected by the geopolitical tensions, mainly due to an expected slowdown in advanced economies.
HEI noted that the domestic economy could now be on the path to recovery, and quarter two of 2022 would be the turning point as it would eliminate the base effect, and be a measure of highly-anticipated organic growth.