“The growth was very slow in the second quarter and the sectors that contributed mainly to this slow performance were the hotels and restaurant sector. Also the construction sector didn’t do well, and mining sector. In fact the hotels and restaurant sector contracted by about 31 per cent in the second quarter of this year, the construction sector by about 17 per cent, and mining by 10.4 per cent,” Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) statistician general John Steytler told CNBC Africa on Thursday.
“Other sectors also struggled a bit but there were also some sectors that did a bit better. Our agricultural sector performed quite well. There we’ve seen significant growth of close to 40 per cent, but it’s mainly due to the drought conditions that we witness in Namibia currently that are forcing farmers to sell off their livestock. The fishing sector also performed relatively well, and also the wholesale and retail sector.”
Manufacturing also posted a growth rate but not one that was significantly high. Steytler however expects to see growth pick up in the near future.
It’s difficult to give a forecast at this point in time. We expect growth to pick up in the second half of the year, because there are some projects in the pipeline that have been commissioned,” he explained.
“There’s significant work on the new uranium mine that will generate a lot of fixed capital formation that will contribute to economic growth. We also expect some of the other sectors to do a bit better in the second half of the year, in particular the mining sector.”
Namibia’s inflation rate increased to six per cent in August from 5.8 per cent in July. Driving forces behind the slight uptick included food prices, which went up slightly as well as housing and transport prices.
Oil prices remained slightly elevated and it was expected that transport costs would increase due to exchange rate depreciation.
“We can expect inflation to remain more or less unchanged at about six per cent, could be slightly up, but we don’t see huge inflationary pressures. The key factor right now that is a bit of a concern is the exchange rate that has been weakened for some time now. So that could put upward pressure on imported goods.”