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Namibia records highest GDP contraction

Namibia records highest GDP contraction

Pandemic-ridden 2020 has recorded the biggest contraction ever recorded in Namibia as the economy contracted by 8% bringing the value of GDP in real terms to N$133.7 billion compared to N$145.3 billion registered in 2019, recording a decline by N$11.6 billion.

This is according to the Preliminary National Account 2020 released by the Namibia Statistics Agency on 31 March 2021. In nominal terms, the country’s GDP stood at N$176.3 billion relative to N$181.6 billion registered in the previous year, shedding off N$ 5.2 billion.

This is the highest annual contraction on record (1981-2020). The second highest was in 1993, when the economy contracted by 1.6%.

“The poor performance is evident across the entire sectors of the economy due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent measures that was put in place for the country to mitigate and contain the spread of the virus,” Statistician-General Alex Shimuafeni said.

The sectors that were most affected were hotels and restaurants (-33.1%); transport and storage (-22.4%); administrative and support services (-14.5%); wholesale and retail trade (-11.7%); and financial and insurance services (-11.7%).

The sectors that contributed the highest to the nominal GDP were public administration and defence (11.6%); manufacturing (11%); education (10.9%); mining (10.1%); wholesale and retail trade (9.6%); agriculture, forestry and fishing (9%).

The negative impact of the pandemic in 2020 was seen worldwide. On continental level, Africa’s GDP is estimated to have shrank by 2.1% in 2020, according to the Africa Economic Outlook 2021 report. Neighbouring South Africa’s economy declined by 7% in 2020, according to Statistics South Africa.

According to the World Economic Outlook report of January 2021, the global economy is estimated to have contracted by 3.5% in 2020.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys