Nam economy to grow by 5.3 per cent this year

WINDHOEK: The country’s economy is expected to grow by 5.3 per cent this year, Bank of Namibia (BoN)’s Director of Strategic Communications and Financial Sector Development, Ndangi Katoma announced on Wednesday.

Speaking in the capital during a media briefing, he said this growth is expected to be supported by the sustainable, rapid pace of construction activities and mining, as well as strong growth in consumer demand.

Namibia’s overall inflation rate has remained low, standing at 5.2 per cent last month, while the average inflation rate of the first three months of 2014 was 5.2 per cent, compared to the 6.0 per cent average rate recorded during the same time last year.

“Inflation is anticipated to increase slightly in the second quarter of 2014, although it is expected to remain below 6 per cent this year,” Katoma said.

The annual growth rate in domestic Private Sector Credit Extension (PSCE) increased to 15.6 per cent in February this year, compared to the annual growth rates of 14.3 in both January 2014 and December 2013.

Credit growth to the household sector remains strong, and the recent acceleration in PSCE growth was mainly due to higher growth in credit to the business sector.

“The strong growth in household credit largely reflected high growth rates in mortgage loans, while credit to the business sector was mainly explained by the trends in overdraft and installation credit,” he stated further.

Katoma noted that economic activities in emerging and developing economies are also expected to slightly pick up this year, despite the weaker growth in Brazil, China and India in the fourth quarter of 2013.