Namibia’s economy contracted by 2.4% in third quarter

Namibia’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 2.4% to $3.017 billion in the third quarter of 2020 from $3.15 billion in a similar period last year, according to data released by the statistics agency.

Namibia Statistics Agency Statistician-General Alex Shimuafeni said the largest negative contributors to GDP growth in the July – September period were the manufacturing sector (-3.1%), mining and quarrying (-2.9%), and hotel and restaurants (-1.4%).

On the other hand, Shimuafeni said that positive performance was observed in the ‘information and communication’ sector as demand for data services and internet connectivity surged from educational institutions, businesses and households due to the stay-at-home orders imposed by the government.

“The sector registered a strong growth of 13.8%,” he noted.

Shimuafeni said similarly the health sector registered a growth of 10.3% growth as a result of the high demand for health workers.

Namibia’s poor third quarter economic performance has been attributed to the state of emergency measures and travel restrictions imposed by President Hage Geingob’s government.

Namibia is classified as higher middle income country, and its GDP is reliant on the agriculture, mining and tourism sectors, all affected immensely by the locust invasions and COVID-19 pandemic respectively.

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