Nam’s GDP growth estimated at 3.2% in 2023: IMF

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Namibia and endorsed the staff appraisal without a meeting on a lapse-of-time basis.

Namibia’s real GDP growth reached 4.

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6 per cent in 2022 on the back of sustained mining growth and recovery in tourism.

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With growth estimated at 3.2 per cent in 2023, economic activity is assessed to have now surpassed the pre-pandemic level.

Inflation, which rose sharply in 2022 due to high international oil and food prices, has eased below 6 per cent but is susceptible to resurgent fuel prices in recent months.

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The current account deficit widened in 2022 to 12.

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8 per cent as the spike in fuel prices inflated the import bill. With the SACU receipts resurging in 2023 and a pick-up in FDI inflows, including those related to oil exploration, official reserves remain adequate.

The fiscal deficit has narrowed and is projected to drop below 4 per cent of GDP this fiscal year as pandemic-related spending pressures ease, the public wage bill growth has been contained, and the performance of state-owned enterprises has improved. Meanwhile, social assistance was expanded to address food insecurity exacerbated by the drought.

Growth is expected to stabilize at about 3 per cent over the medium term.

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The public debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to ease below 66 per cent of GDP as the authorities implement their fiscal consolidation strategy, mindful of the need to contain debt servicing costs and manage the volatility of SACU revenues. The current account deficit is subject to significant revisions and will remain elevated due to the intensifying oil exploration. But it will gradually narrow on the assumption that international energy prices normalize and global demand for essential commodities in Namibia, namely uranium, diamonds, and fish, remains robust in the medium term.