IMF sees Namibia’s GDP contracting in 2018

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A general view of the city and Christ Church in Windhoek, Namibia, February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

WINDHOEK (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that Namibia’s GDP will contract in 2018, pushing out its forecast for growth to next year when it sees support from strong mining production and a rebound in construction activities.

Namibia’s economy is forecast to contract 0.2 percent this year, down from a previous forecast of 1 percent growth, due to a weak performance in the manufacturing and construction sectors, the finance ministry has said.

The diamond and uranium producer’s economy contracted by 0.9 percent in 2017.

Geremia Palomba, who led the IMF team, said growth would gradually recover.

“After years of robust growth, the economy has entered a recession phase…IMF staff anticipates that the economy will recover gradually,” Palomba said in a statement

He said growth would strengthen at a long-term rate of about 3 percent, but gave no specific time frame. He added that growth would be below the average recorded in recent years, held back by low productivity growth and stagnant competitiveness.

Namibia’s GDP has averaged 4.29 percent since independence in 1990

Palomba said the downside risks to the IMF’s outlook included lower-than-expected revenue from the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), slower growth recovery, and fiscal slippage.

Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Editing by James Macharia and Kirsten Donovan

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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