Fiscal consolidation efforts prove futile, domestic economy contracts by 0.2% – Shimuafeni
Government’s efforts to improve the fiscal space by reducing and capping unnecessary expenditure through fiscal consolidation is exerting further pressure on the domestic economy.
This is according to Alex Shimuafeni, Statistician General of the Namibia Statistics Agency. Shimuafeni, at a media briefing on the Second Quarter GDP figures for 2018, said that this is evident by the poor performance of health and education sectors that recorded negative growth rates of 4.9% and 6.2%. respectively.
Shimuafeni said that the 2016 recession continues to drag on and the economy maintained the same pace of declining growth of 0.2%.
Overall, the agency stressed that the poor performance is largely driven by the manufacturing, wholesale and retail and agricultural sectors which posted declines of 12.5%, 5.8% and 1.1%, respectively.
Shimuafeni said that while the wholesale and retail sector shows signs of recovery compared to the same period in 2017 that registered a decline of 11.4%, the agricultural sector dipped into a contraction (from 20.6% in 2017) due to fewer animals available for slaughter.
“However, the following sectors recorded strong growths in real value added during the period under review; mining and quarrying (22.4%) construction (23.8% and water and electricity (16.7%),” Shimuafeni said.