Weekly Column: Namibia Statistics Agency…2017 Statistical update

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Iipumbu Sakaria

It has been some time since we last provided statistics to you through this platform. Since statistics are important for all of us, we will provide some statistics as it relates to the year 2017. We will confine ourselves to the demographic and economic statistics of 2017.

POPULATION
We are all aware that populations grow. Our last official census count was done in 2011 and you will all agree with me that by now the statistics must have changed. Indeed they did so.

Thanks to our population projections we are able to project our population until the year 2041. In 2011 our population stood at 2.1 million and now, in 2017, our population is estimated to be around 2.36 million people.
The Khomas Region still has the largest population at roughly 431,000, followed by the Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto, Oshana and Kavango East and West regions. Their current populations range between 250,000 to 195,000 inhabitants.

INFLATION
Annual inflation has been declining since January 2017. It started off with a high of 8.2 percent and has since moderated significantly. In February inflation stood at 7.8 percent and reduced furthermore to 7 percent in March. Thereafter the annual inflation continued its downward trend for the year moving down from 6.7 percent in April to 5.4 percent in August 2017.

The major contributing factors for our inflation have been the categories of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; hotels, cafes and restaurants; food and non-alcoholic beverages; as well as education and transport.

TRADE
On to trade statistics and economic growth. Last week we released the Trade and GDP figures for the second quarter of this year. The trade statistics as released show us that our exports stood at N$13.9 billion whilst we imported goods worth N$ 20.1 billion.

This left the country with a deficit of over N$6 billion. South Africa still remains our biggest trade partner, dominating both the import and export markets. In terms of exports, Switzerland, Botswana, Spain, and Belgium ranked behind South Africa.

The main export commodities were diamonds, copper ores, fish, copper cathodes, and live animals. In terms of imports South Africa remains the top source, followed by Botswana, Bulgaria, Zambia, and China. The top commodities imported were mineral fuels and oils, vehicles, boilers, diamonds, and electrical machinery and equipment.
The trade statistics show that Namibia still remains an exporter of raw materials and an importer of finished goods. Imports were transported by way of road whilst exports were mostly by sea.

ECONOMY
In terms of our economy, we recorded a contraction of 1.7 percent for both the first and second quarters of 2017. The second quarter poor performance was mainly attributed to the construction, wholesale and retail, as well as the fishing sector.

The constructions sector’s decline is due to a drop in real value of government construction which, on a year to year basis, dropped by a significant 83.3 percent as compared to a growth of 6.1 percent in the second quarter of 2016.

On the positive side though, other sectors such as agriculture and forestry, mining, quarrying and manufacturing posted stronger growth in real value added.

ACCESS TO STATISTICAL DATA
We would like to inform the nation that all these statistics are available from our offices, website and indeed on your phone. We encourage all interested persons to download our mobile statistical application so as to ensure that you have statistics right at your fingertips.

Once downloaded, which is free, all statistics are available whether you have an internet connection or not. Get yourself the statistical mobile application and stay up to date with the latest statistics in your country.

* Iipumbu Sakaria is corporate communications manager at the NSA.

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