• September 23rd, 2018
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Population growing faster than economy – Schade

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Desie Heita Windhoek-Namibia’s population growth has surpassed the projections of the 2011 census, while economic growth has slowed, leading to an average decline of around N$400 in individual earnings last year. It was particularly in 2016 when the chickens came home to roost, as research shows that the country’s population growth reached 1.9 percent – above the projected estimate of 1.4 percent. In 2016, economic growth in Namibia was five times lower than in 2014 and 2015. Taking into account the just-released economic statistics, 2016 appears to meet the criteria to be defined as ‘annus horribilis’ – a Latin term, meaning ‘a horrible year’, made famous by Britain’s reigning monarch in the early 1990s. In 2016, the statistical average earnings per person in Namibia declined by about N$400, compared to earnings of 2015 – a situation attributed mainly to the rate of population growth. It was also the fourth year running that value addition in agriculture and mining registered a decline. During 2016, value addition in certain industries, such as manufacturing, continued to decline, as it did in 2015 and 2014. “The Namibian population is growing faster than the economy,” says economist Klaus Schade, executive director of the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN). The EAN has closely analysed the country’s economic performance for 2016 and found that the per-capita income in constant prices declined from N$47,605 in 2015 to N$47,216 in 2016, a decrease of N$389 per person. “This is the second drop in per-capita income in constant prices over the past ten years,” Schade noted. The latest available statistics indicate that in 2009 the average per-capita income in Namibia declined by 1.2 percent. The economy is not growing at a pace at which households are able to retain good earnings and pay for the expenses of the multiplying bodies in their houses. The statistical analysis excluded inflation effects on income and spending. In 2016, the economy grew by 1.1 only percent. Somewhat frightening is the fact that Namibia’s economic growth registered in 2016 was five times lower than that recorded in 2015 and 2014. The economy grew by 1.1 percent in 2016, compared to 6.0 percent in 2015 and 6.4 percent in 2014, according to data released yesterday by Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni. “The slow performance is attributed to the secondary and tertiary industries that recorded a contraction in real value added of 7.8 percent and a slow growth of 3.9 percent, respectively,” Shimuafeni said in his statement. Schade notes that - for the fourth consecutive year - value addition in agriculture and mining sectors declined in 2016, this time by 2 percent. Value addition in the manufacturing sector declined by 7.8 percent snd was caused mainly by the construction sector’s decline by 26.5 percent. This is besides the fact that construction had been doing very well, growing by about 32.4 percent each year, for the three years between 2013 and 2015. There were also declines in the value addition of the meat processing industry, beverages, and other manufacturing contracted in 2016, “like in the two previous years”. The EAN notes that “despite budget cuts announced in October 2016, public investment increased by a further N$10.2 billion compared to N$9.8 billion in 2015 and N$2.3 billion in 2007. The EAN also notes that although at 1.1 percent the country’s economic growth surpassed expectations for 2016 (given that quarterly economic growth data recorded negative growth rates for three of the four quarters) growth “remained below the 1.3 percent anticipated in the budget statement.”
2017-08-18 10:23:50 1 years ago
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