Economy grew only 1.1% in 2016 – NSA

Windhoek-The domestic economy is estimated to have recorded a slow growth of 1.1 percent during 2016 compared to a strong growth of 6.0 percent recorded in 2015. The slow performance can be attributed to the secondary and tertiary industries that recorded a contraction in real value added of 7.8 percent and a slow growth of 3.9 percent, respectively. This is according to the Revised National Accounts for 2016, which were released by the Namibia Statistics Agency yesterday.

National accounts are compiled in accordance with the standards of the 1993 System of National Accounts. Data from the external sector, such as balance of payments, have been fully incorporated within a harmonised and consistent framework.

However, financial accounts have not yet been included within the system of national accounts. The financial account records acquisitions and disposals of financial assets and liabilities.

The contraction in the secondary industries is due to the construction sector that recorded a decline in real value added of 26.5 percent in 2016 compared to a strong growth of 26.0 percent in 2015. The slow growth recorded in tertiary industries can be attributed to the following sectors: wholesale and retail (3.4 percent), hotels and restaurants (5.1 percent), real estate and business services (2.5 percent), public administration and defence (3.3 percent), education (3.5 percent) and health (10.5 percent), explained Statistician General and CEO of the NSA, Alex Shimuafeni.

He noted that primary industries are recovering � however they remain in a contraction, registering 2.0 percent in 2016 compared to the 5.2 percent in 2015.

Revisions in the national accounts are always necessary because certain data only become available more than a year after the end of the reference period. Thus the national accounts estimates for the last three years are revised once or twice a year due to updated data from data sources.

Revision to previous years of certain variables are necessary as new evidence becomes available or to correct errors in the estimates, although the aim is to avoid errors altogether.

The highest revisions were recorded in the hotels and restaurants and construction sectors which were revised by 3.7 percentage points and 3.0 percentage points, respectively. These revisions were mainly necessitated by improved response rates and updated data, which were received after the preliminary national accounts.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia