Overall economic activity slowed down marginally in the second quarter but remained robust.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the quarter ended 30 June 2015 recorded an annualised growth of 4.2% compared to an increase of 5% registered in the corresponding quarter of 2014.
The slower growth was mainly attributed to declines in real value added recorded in the mining and quarrying, manufacturing and fishing sectors of 10.2%, 5.7% and 2.8%, respectively. Despite a poor performance in these sectors the economy showed improvement in construction, transport and communication, and the utility sectors which recorded growths in real value added of 48.9 %, 6.5% and 1.9 %, respectively. This is according to the latest economic data released by the Namibia Statistics Agency on Wednesday last week in its second quarter GDP report.
The report states that the agriculture sector slowed considerably during the quarter and is estimated to have grown by only 3.1% in real value added compared to a growth of 9.7% for the corresponding quarter in 2014. The lesser performance is attributed to the crop farming subsector that declined by 16.6% in real value added compared to an increase of 20.6% recorded in the same quarter of 2014. The contraction is due to the prevailing drought.
On the other hand, livestock farming recorded a strong growth of 14.9% in real value added when compared to only 5.4% registered in the same quarter of 2014. The growth the result of the increase in the number of cattle and small stock exported on the hoof. These recorded staggering growth rates of 427% and 116.4% respectively, compared to declines of 86.6% and 46% respectively in 2014 Q2. This explosion in live exports is a direct result of poor grazing conditions forcing farmers to sell their livestock.
The category cattle exports, abattoirs and butchers recorded a decline of 5.6%. In the same quarter last year, this category decreased by 17.4%. Local slaughtering of small stock declined by 26% compared to 15.6% in 2014 Q2.
The fishing and fish processing on board sector is estimated to have registered a decline of 2.8% in real value added during the second quarter of 2015 compared to an increase of 5.5% recorded in the same quarter of 2014 The poor performance in the fishing sector can mainly be attributed to the mid-water trawl landings that registered a decline of 16.6%. However, demersal landings registered a strong growth of 13.9% during the period under review compared to a decline of 15.3% recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2014, said the report.
The mining and quarrying sector growth is estimated to have worsened, registering a decline of 10.2% in real value added compared to a decline of only 1.1% recorded in 2014 Q2. The Namibia Statistics Agency attributed the weak performance to the poor performance of the diamond subsector that registered a decline in real value added of 15.8%. This is the result of lower production due to operational problems and industrial action.
Uranium production improved somewhat but still recorded a decline of 9.1% in real value added. Last year the decline of in the second quarter was 29.5%.
Finally, the metal ore subsector registered an increase of 55.9 % in real value added compared to a decline of 0.3% in 2014 Q2. This resulted from an increase in the production of gold.