Nam economy bounces back, but risks lingerBy: JO-MARÉ DUDDY
NAMIBIA will likely miss its economic growth target of 4,6 per cent for 2012 as set out in the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4), the latest official statistics suggest.
Gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the second quarter, seasonally adjusted and released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) yesterday, showed that the domestic economy bounced back, growing 1,6 per cent after declining by 0,7 per cent during the first three months of 2012.
Daniel Motinga, senior manager of research and development at FNB Namibia, although encouraged by the figures, warned that global economic risks will probably stifle growth.
“It is tempting to think that there is a trend reversal, but maybe it’s too soon,” Motinga said.
Persistent weak demand globally will continue to dampen Namibia’s export markets in the remaining two quarters of the year, he said.
As such, Motinga has revised his economic growth forecast for Namibia for 2012 down from 4,2 per cent at the beginning of the year to 3,5 per cent.
The Bank of Namibia (BoN) is more positive, this week pinning its forecast between 4 per cent and the NDP4 required 4,6 per cent. NSA Director General John Steytler yesterday was hesitant to comment on the likelihood of Namibia missing its growth target this year, but said that NDP4 allows for continuous revision and re-adjustment.
Steytler said growth during the second quarter was mainly driven by primary and secondary industries, recording growth of 29,4 per cent and 14,7 per cent respectively.
“Primary industries were led by the mining and quarrying sector, while the growth in secondary industries was reflected in all sub-sectors that recorded strong growth during the period under review.
The tertiary industries, on the other hand, recorded a slow growth of 1,5 per cent in real value added,” he said.
Year-on-year, the unadjusted gross domestic product (GDP) of the second quarter showed an increase of 8,9 per cent compared to a decline of 1,8 per cent the same time last year.