Namibia’s economy grows by N$7,3b in second quarter

Alex Shimuafeni

NAMIBIA’S economy grew by N$7,3 billion to N$58,6 billion in the second quarter of 2023, the latest data from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) shows.

In real terms, the domestic economy witnessed a growth of 3,7% during the second quarter of 2023, slower than the 8,5% expansion recorded in the prior comparable quarter.

According to the NSA, the slowdown in growth is primarily attributed to the construction and agriculture and forestry sectors, both of which experienced declines in real value added of 35,9% and 31,9%.

“Furthermore, the financial services and public administration and defence sectors also exhibited a moderation in their growth rates, with real value added declining by 2,6% and 2,2%, respectively,” NSA statistician general Alex Shimuafeni says.
Mining and quarrying continued as the main contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 3,7% registered in the second quarter of 2023, according to NSA data.

“While the mining and quarrying sector experienced a slower growth trajectory during the quarter under review, the sector still achieved a noteworthy double-digit increase of 32% in real value added, compared to the robust growth rate of 64,5% recorded in the same quarter of 2022,” he says.

Strong performances according to NSA data were evident in the electricity and water and wholesale and retail trade sectors, which recorded robust growth in real value added during the quarter under review.

“The electricity and water sector recorded a notable growth rate of 14,4%, surpassing the 12,9% observed in the second quarter of 2022.

“Similarly, the wholesale and retail trade sector demonstrated substantial improvement, achieving a growth rate of 8,2%, compared to the 2,1% reported in the same quarter of 2022,” Shimuafeni says.

“Additionally, during the second quarter of 2023, the sectors of transport and storage and information communication displayed growth rates in real value added, registering increases of 8,3% and 1,8%, respectively.”

Private final consumption expenditure during the period under review registered a decline of 4,2%, in stark contrast to the robust performance of 23% observed in the corresponding quarter of 2022.

The decline is attributed to mounting cost-of-living pressures, which have compelled consumers to curtail their expenditures on goods and services.

“The government’s final consumption expenditure saw a modest expansion, with a slower growth rate of 0,6% during the second quarter of 2023, in contrast to an increase of 1,3% recorded in the corresponding period of 2022,” Shimuafeni says.
Gross fixed capital expenditure according to the NSA recorded a moderated growth rate of 7,4% during the reviewed period, in contrast to the robust growth of 18,6% recorded in the comparative quarter of 2022.

“Additionally, there are indications of deceleration in both the import and export of goods and services, with growth rates of 1,1% and 7,9%, respectively.

“These figures stand in contrast to the high growth rates of 38,3% and 19,6% observed in the corresponding quarter of 2022,” he says.

The NSA report serves to guide policymakers, businesses, and the public in understanding the current state and direction of the domestic economy. – The Brief

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