WINDHOEK – The domestic economy remains subdued in the second quarter of 2019, recording a contraction of 2.6 percent compared to a growth of 0.6 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2018, according to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).
Statistician-General Alex Shimuafeni said year on year, in real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) stood at N$25 515 million compared to N$26185 million, showing that the sum of real value added shrunk by N$670 million.
He said the deterioration in performance is observed across major sectors with more than half of the sectors posting declining growth rates in real value added.
“The key drivers for the contraction is attributed to ‘mining and quarrying’ (-20.2 percent), ‘agriculture and forestry’ (-28.1 percent) construction (-5.5 percent), ‘wholesale and retail trade’ (-2.0 percent), and ‘hotels and restaurants’ (-2.8 percent),” he said.
Furthermore, Shimuafeni said moderate declines were recorded in ‘public administration and defence’, ‘transport and communications’, ‘education’ and ‘health’ sectors that registered declines of 2.7 percent, 0.9 percent, 0.9 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
He said the significant reduction in economic activities is attributed to weak domestic demand for goods and services, reduced disposable income coupled with drought conditions affecting most households.
However, he said other sectors posted positive performance during the quarter under review.
‘Manufacturing’ and ‘electricity & water’ sectors recorded improved performances, posting growths in real value added of 18.8 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, in the second quarter of 2019.
Improved performance, he said is also observed in the financial intermediation and fishing sector, which posted growths in real value added of 1.9 percent and 0.6 percent, in second quarter of 2019 compared to 0.7 percent and 6.2 percent respectively in the corresponding quarter for 2018.
“Year on year, inflation surged up, recording a 4.2 percent compared to 3.8 percent recorded in 2018,” said the statistician-general.
This represents an increase of 0.4 percentage points, and is largely due to increases in ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages’ as well as ‘alcoholic beverages and tobacco’.
During the quarter under review, Shimuafeni said imports rose faster recording N$19 687 million whereas exports decelerated to N$13 288 million, widening the trade balance by N$6 399 million.
This, he said, is largely due to an increase in importation of fuel and a reduction in export of diamonds.
“I would therefore again like to emphasise the importance of accurate and timely delivery of data from our stakeholders in the private and public sectors to the NSA, as per section 38 of the Statistics Act on which the compilation of quarterly GDP depends,” he said.
2019-09-23 07:47:14 21 days ago