Average annual growth rate at 4.9%
Namibia has booked three consecutive years of solid growth following the recession in 2008/2009, according to the IJG Securities quarterly economic review which was released recently. Namibian Gross Domestic Product for 2012 rose by an encouraging 5.0% year on year which compares favourably will 2011’s growth rate of 4.5% .
According to the report, economic growth for 2012 was broad-based as the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors all recorded positive growth. The primary sector grew by 6.5%, while the secondary and tertiary sectors expanded by 5.9% and 6.9%, respectively. Taxes less subsidies on products contracted by 9.7% in 2012, after an 18.5% increase in the previous year, which had a substantial effect on GDP, reducing the growth rate by 1.0 percentage point
A rebound in mining production has proved beneficial to the primary sector which was up11.2% year on year after a decline of 7.9% in 2011. This rebound contributed 0.65 percentage points to the yearly change in GDP. Copper, zinc and uranium grew by 18.8% year on year after a 22.1% contraction in 2011. Diamond mining also rebounded from a contraction of 2.6% to growth of 9.0% in 2012. However, analysts from IJG foresee mining activity contracting in 2013 given the poor performance outlook in the sector.
The Namibian agricultural sector performed poorly in comparison to 2011. Livestock farming decelerated to 3.6%, while growth in crop farming and forestry moderated to 6.5%. According to IJG, the poor performance in livestock farming in 2012 was on account of a decline in the number of cattle marketed in 2012. The number of cattle processed at export abattoirs was down 8.5% as at December 2012 on a year to date basis; and live exports to South Africa were also down 34.3% over the same period. The value added by the fishing and fish processing on board contracted by 4.7% in 2012 after growing by 6.2% in the previous year.
“The 5.9% growth of the secondary sector is owed primarily to the construction sector which recorded growth of 12.1%. Within other sectors of the economy, electricity and water output grew by 5.1%, partly due to the performance seen in the manufacturing sector, which accelerated in 2012 posting growth of 4.3% after a contraction of 0.6% in the previous year,” states the report.
According to the data, wholesale and retail were the main contributors to the positive 6.5% growth the tertiary sector posted in 2012. They collectively grew by 12.1% in 2012 compared to 3.3% in the previous year. Public administration and defence, which includes central government administrative activities, statutory bodies and local government activities, recorded an increase of 6.5% in 2012 compared to 3.1% in 2011. Growth in real estate and business services accelerated from an annualized rate of 3.1% in 2011 to 6.1% in 2012. The health sector also performed handsomely, coming from a 3.2% growth rate in 2011 to 11.8% in 2012, contributing 0.39 percentage points to GDP.
The report also summarized growth in expenditure. Gross Domestic Expenditure (GDE) improved to 8.1% year on year in 2012 from 6.0% in the previous year, boosted by gross fixed capital formation and household expenditure, while government consumption rose gradually. Private expenditure totalled N$62.1 billion, a growth rate of 6.3% compared to 5.7% in the previous year. Government expenditure totalled N$26,5 billion. On the rise since 2005, it contributed 25.2% of GDE in 2012 compared to the 19.3% in 2005.