Economic Outlook Gloomy

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By Catherine Sasman

WINDHOEK

Economist and RMB Namibia Chief Executive Officer, Martin Mwinga, on Friday said the anticipated 4.7 growth as pronounced by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) is not achievable due to the contraction in private consumption, declining exports, falling investments and contraction in agriculture, and poor performance in the fishing and manufacturing sectors.

Instead, he said, high interest rates, inflation and expected disruptions in electricity supply would bring down economic growth.

“Coupled with downward growth in global economic growth, the 2008 GDP [Gross Domestic Product] growth is revised downward to 3.6 percent,” Mwinga maintained.

He also expressed worry over the decrease in the share of income of most regions of the country and particularly the northern parts of Namibia.

“The share of national income of the Kavango and Ohangwena regions, as well as that of Windhoek stood at 11 percent in 1993/94, while recording a drop of share of national income of the Kavango and Ohangwena regions of 3 percent, unlike the 19 percent increase of the share of national income of the Khomas Region,” he reported.

The decline in share of income of most regions, he said, reflects the low and poor investments in these regions.

“Income inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient seems to be very high in the Omaheke Region, compared to the other regions,” he added.

He said 5 percent of the population controlled 44 percent of the country’s national income, translated differently, it means that 70 percent of the population controls a mere 20 percent of the national income.

Moreover, he said, the income tax threshold is likely to be raised again to N$40??????’??

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