Namibian economy contracts by 2.5 percent in first quarter

 Namibian economy contracts by 2.5 percent in first quarter

Namibian economy contracts by 2.5 percent in first quarter.

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Windhoek-The Namibian economy further contracted by 2.5 percent in the first quarter of the year despite being poised for an improved performance hinged on better performances by the agriculture sector which in nominal terms expanded to N$3.8 billion from N$3 billion registered in the corresponding quarter of 2020. 

Namibian Statistics Agency Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni said the contribution of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2021 was 8.1 percent an expansion from a share of 6.1 percent recorded in the corresponding quarter of the preceding year. 

“The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector’s trade deficit widened over the year from N$197.2 million recorded in the first quarter of 2020 to N$231.5 million registered in the quarter under review. Thus, an indication of the country increased dependence on imports during the quarter under review,” he said. 

According to NSA although better days are anticipated the Namibian  economy continued to contract since the first quarter of 2020, recording a contraction of 6.5 percent during the first quarter of 2021 compared to a decline of 2.5 percent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020. 

“The Real GDP for the quarter stood at N$ 31.9 billion compared to 34.2 billion. This is a decline by N$2.2 Billion in Real GDP,” he said.  Shimuafeni said  while the construction sector posted the deepest contraction of 23.9 percent, the sector only accounted for a reduction of 0.5 percentage points to the GDP growth rate of -6.5 percent. 

He said the largest negative contributor to the GDP during the period under review was the manufacturing sector that was responsible for -2.5 percentage points to the overall GDP decline.

“Public administration index remained subdued, recording a decline of 0.6 percent during the first quarter of 2021 relative to a strong growth of 1.3 percent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020. The weak performance is ascribed to the reduction in the number of employees compensated within the central government,” he said.

NSA said, a positive performance was observed in the information and communication’ sector as demand for  data services and internet connectivity continues to steadily grow as Covid-19 pandemic continues unabated. 

“The sector registered a strong growth of 17.6 percent in real value added. The increase in covid-19 cases reported, resulted in high demand for health workers, resulting in improved performance for the health sector, registering a 12.8 percent growth in value added. The ‘Electricity and water’ sectors posted positive performance, “he said. 

Tiri Masawi

is a Business Journalist and Editor for 14 years. He is currently working in Namibia and has written for several Namibian, Zimbabwean, and South African newspapers. He also works as a fixer for BBC in Namibia. He has a firm interest in reading as well as mentoring young journalists in the craft.

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