Primary industry contracted, secondary sector performs well

WINDHOEK; The primary industry did not perform well during the first quarter of this year, but the secondary industry performed exceptionally well during the same period under review.

The primary industry is estimated to have contracted by 9,9 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

Statistician-General John Steytler announced during a media briefing on Thursday that the poor performance of the primary industry was reflected in all sub-sectors – agriculture, fishing and mining.

However, the brunt of the impact came from the agricultural sub-sector, which is estimated to have declined by 18,9 per cent during the quarter under review, reflecting the drought of the last expected rainy season.

Steytler said the fishing sub-sector is estimated to have contracted by 13,0 per cent, while the mining sub-sector is estimated to have contracted by 3,8 per cent.

Within the secondary industry, the construction sector performed exceptionally well, recording a robust growth of 22,0 per cent.

Manufacturing, and electricity and water – the other two sub-sectors of the secondary industry – are estimated to have declined by 10,3 per cent and 0,6 per cent, respectively.

“The robust performance of the construction sector was mainly due to construction work for Government, which recorded a notable 29,4 per cent increase during the period under review,” said the government’s chief statistician.

In addition, the relatively strong performance of the tertiary industry was mainly reflected in the wholesale and retail trade as well as the transport and communication sub-sectors, which are estimated to have expanded by 20,6 per cent and 11,9 per cent, respectively.

The performance of the wholesale and retail trade sub-sector was influenced by sub-sectors such as supermarkets and vehicles, which recorded sales increases of 35,5 per cent and 33,9 per cent, respectively.

Growth in the transport and communications’ sector mainly emanated from the telecommunications’ sector, which is estimated to have increased by 33,3 per cent during the review period.

Steytler furthermore indicated that activity in the sub-sector freight by road, and travel and tour operations, is estimated to have expanded by 9,4 per cent and 7,0 per cent, respectively.