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GDP slows to 4.4%

Namibia’s GDP growth is estimated to have decelerated to 4.4 % in 2013, preliminary data released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) showed this week.
The slowdown in growth compared to a revised growth of 6.7% achieved in 2012, was in line with market expectations.
The NSA attributed the lower growth to a 9.3% contraction of the primary industries which saw all three sub sectors dip into negative territory led by the agriculture sector with a sharp decline of 26.9% on account of the drought that ravaged parts of the country last year, particularly the north. The fishing sector and the mining sector, the mainstay of the local economy, also declined by 2.6 % and 1.2% respectively. However, positive growth was recorded in both the secondary (8.7%) and tertiary industries (6.4 %). Growth in the secondary industries was driven by a booming construction sector that was estimated to have expanded by an impressive 35% at the back of increased investment in the mining sector and public infrastructure.

Growth in the tertiary industries was seen in the hotels and restaurants, financial intermediaries and public administration, and health sectors which all recorded respectable growth rates of 10.6%, 14.1% , 8.9% and 8.8 % respectively. The transport and communication sector also saw an 8.3% expansion.
Although lower than 2012, Namibia’s growth is still well above that of the world economy which the IMF estimates to have expanded by 3% and that of neighbour South Africa whose economy is estimated to have recorded a marginal increased of 1.8%.

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