Growth in agriculture and fishing
According to the final National Accounts for 2011, the Namibian economy grew by 4.8% in 2011, down from 6.6 % in 2010. Primary industries recorded a decline of 0.9 % owing to a substantial contraction in mining at minus 8.5 %, while agriculture and fisheries showed strong growth of 8.6% and 6.2 %t respectively.
Secondary industries expanded by 4.1% supported by the strong performance of the construction sector at about 15.2 % on the back of government’s Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) programme. The tertiary sector grew by 4.3% mainly due to improved performance from the public services, such as education which stood at about 8.6 % and public administration at 5.4%. This is according to the September 2012 edition of the Economy Watch of the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), compiled by economist Klaus Schade.
Schade stated that the inflation rate, in August continued its downward trend that started in February 2012. Overall inflation stood at 5.8 % in August, down from 7.4 % in February and 6.6 % in July. The trend is in line with subsiding inflationary pressure in other Southern African Customs Union (SACU) countries.
The country dropped nine places in her international ranking (to place 92 out of 144 countries) and one place in her ranking within Southern African Development Community (SADC) to place 5 trailing behind South Africa (52), Mauritius (54), Seychelles (76), and Botswana (79). Contrary to Namibia most of these countries improved their ranking.
In the minerals sector, copper and zinc prices recovered during the first half of 2012, but took a dip at the beginning of the second half owing to poor global economic prospects. Copper and zinc prices have increased by 11 and 15 % respectively during the first two weeks in September compared to the end of August, Gold has gained some 7.7% since the beginning of the year, but has not yet fulfilled market expectations of reaching the level of US$1.900 per ounce.
“Uranium prices dropped back to price levels last seen two years ago, starting the month of September at US$ 48.00 per pound. Compared to the start of 2012, uranium lost 7.7 % of its value on the spot market casting further doubt over significant investment in uranium mining in the near future,” Schade stated in his overview.
Namibia outlined her ambition to become the most competitive country in the Southern African Development Community by 2017 the Fourth National Development Plan released on 19 July 2012. “The latest Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13 (GCR) released by the World Economic Forum at the beginning of September reminds us that more than expected work needs to be done to achieve this goal,” Schade said.