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Third quarter in a row of GDP decline confirms deep recession

Third quarter in a row of GDP decline confirms deep recession

The Statistician General, Mr Alex Shimuafeni, had the unpleasant task on Thursday to inform the nation that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has again contracted for the third calendar quarter of 2017, making it the third consecutive quarter of negative growth. The economy is now beyond any doubt in a prolonged recession.

The construction sector was again the biggest contributor to the decline in GDP, contracting by another massive 36.9% compared to the third quarter of 2016, when it has already fallen off a cliff compared to 2015.

Other third quarter disappointers are Wholesale and Retail (-4.4%), Water and Electricity (-5.5%), and Fishing (-1.3%).

Mr Shimuafeni said GDP decreased by 1.9% compared to the third quarter of 2016, which had already then declined by 0.3% compared to 2015.

“Public Administration and Defence, and Education also recorded declines in real value added of 4% and 0.4%, according to the Statistician General.

Where sectors managed to post positive growth, the rates were generally modest. Agriculture and Forestry was up 5.3%, Hotels and Restaurants a measly 0.1%, and Transport and Communication 1.3%. In the third quarter of 2016 all three these sectors posted robust growth compared to 2015.

As expected the Namibia Statistics Agency revised the second quarter GDP growth rate substantially upward, from a -1.7% to only -0.7%. This constitutes a 59% adjustment.

On 22 September this year a similar adjustment to first quarter GDP saw the preliminary figure adjusted from -2.7% to -1.7%. There is zero indication in the latest GDP report how this value mysteriously has been re-readjusted to -2%, as is evident in the GDP graph.



About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA (hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees in Philosophy and Divinity. Publisher and Editor of the Namibia Economist since February 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 32 years. The Economist started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at It is the first Namibian newspaper to go fully digital. He is an authority on macro-economics having established a sound record of budget analysis, strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored hundreds of journalism students as interns and as young professional journalists. From time to time he helps economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. Since October 2021, he conducts a weekly talkshow on Radio Energy, again for a lay audience. On 04 September 2022, he was ordained as a Minister of the Dutch Reformed Church of Africa (NHKA). Send comments or enquiries to [email protected]