12 Apr 2017 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 12 APR (NAMPA) President Hage Geingob says Namibias economy has continued to grow since Independence as evidenced by the increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from N.dollars 5.5 billion in 1990 to N.dollars 159 billion in 2016.
This was said by President Hage Geingob when he delivered his third State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Wednesday.
He stated that the per capita income in nominal terms increased from N.dollars 2 400 to N.dollars 68 000 during the same period.
The size of our national budget increased from N.dollars 2.1 billion in 1990/91 to the current budget size of N.dollars 62 billion, he said.
Geingob stated that Government debt has been contained, hence Namibia continues to enjoy good investment grade ratings from credit ratings agencies such as Fitch Group and Moodys.
We have worked very hard over the past 18 months to avoid being downgraded, despite the fact that some variables that impact the grading decisions of ratings agencies are outside of our control, he added.
The President revealed that the year 2016 was characterised by unexpected global headwinds, which negatively affected Namibias fiscal position and the general performance of the economy.
He said most African countries recorded subdued or negative growth, with Namibia being no exception.
Namibia revised downwards its output of domestic economic activities due several factors, including a slump in commodity prices, low Southern African Customs Union receipts, and adverse currency movement and near collapse of cross-border trade with Angola.
This was despite the fact that the Namibian economy was expected to expand by above 4 per cent.
This led to radical budget cuts last year to ensure fiscal sustainability with the hope of stabilising the economy and achieving a long-term growth trajectory.
These were the first budgetary cuts that Namibia effected since Independence in 1990.
Geingob said Namibia is expecting modest growth in 2017, while the longer-term growth outlook has improved considerably.