NAMIBIA’S economy is on a “downward trend”, Statistician General John Steytler said yesterday after seasonally adjusted figures showed that the gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 5,4% in the third quarter – the biggest quarterly drop since the second quarter of 2008.
It is the first time this year that the GDP declined: The economy grew by 1% in the first quarter, and by 2,2% in the second quarter.
The latest figures suggest that it will take nothing short of a miracle for The Namibian economy to grow by 4,6% this year – the target set in the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4).
Economist Klaus Schade yesterday told The Namibian that the best-case scenario would be economic growth of between 3% and 3,5% for 2012. Ongoing troubles facing the global economy simply donÂ’t support domestic growth, he said.
Poor performance in the agricultural, fishing and manufacturing sectors was mainly responsible for the decline in GDP in the third quarter.
Figures released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) yesterday showed that the fishing sector recorded a decline of 18,9% in the third quarter, following a decline of 9,6% in the second quarter. In contrast, the sector grew by 15,4% during the third quarter of 2011.
The manufacturing sector recorded a decline of 6,1% in the third quarter of 2012, compared to growth of 13,6% in the second quarter and a decline of 10,2% in the third quarter of 2011.
In the agricultural sector, a decline of 4,3% was registered in the third quarter of 2012, a recovery from the decline of 12,3% the previous quarter. In contrast, agriculture grew by 4,3% during the third quarter of 2011.
Wholesale and retail trade, as well as hotels and restaurants also had a poor third quarter.
A decline of 15,9% hit the wholesale and retail sector in the third quarter, compared to growth of 6,4% in the second quarter and growth of 4,9% in the third quarter of 2011.
Hotels and restaurants recorded a decline of 13,4% in the third quarter of 2012, a further decline from the drop of 7,5% in the second quarter. In contrast, the sector grew by 21,7% in the third quarter of 2011.
Of the sectors that recorded growth in the third quarter of 2012, mining and quarrying was the top performer, expanding by 13,9%. Other sectors included construction (10,9%), transport and communication (10%), as well as electricity and water (2,4%).