Namibia has never been downgraded: Steytler

29 Jun 2017 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 29 JUN (NAMPA) – Economic Advisor to President Hage Geingob, John Steytler said Namibia has never been downgraded by credit rating agencies.
Speaking during a meeting at State House on Thursday, Steytler said just last week, Fitch Ratings credit rating agancy was in the country and confirmed Namibia’s credit rating status as BBB- (satisfactory at the moment).
“This means that we are currently the only African country with an investment grade rating, and I think that is something to be very proud of,” he told the governors of all 14 regions.
The gathering was a consultative meeting between the governors, Geingob, some Members of Parliament, and presidential advisors.
Steytler also updated the governors on the current economic status of the country, saying some expenditure has grown at high levels resulting in shocks, and expenditure arrest had to be made.
He said the country is now at a level where the economy is starting to stabilise.
“We are seeing some slight signs of recovery but it is going to be a slow growth,” he explained.
Growth projection for 2017 will be less than three per cent, according to Steytler, but it is a positive growth compared to last year when the growth was even weaker.
Steytler said inflation has started to decline and is much stable than last year.
“Commodity prices have declined slightly, so I think this year we could start to gradually get out of the economic downturn that we have seen,” he said.
Namibia’s inflation rate slowed from 8.2 per cent in January 2017 to 6.7 per cent in April the same year. The decline in the inflation rate was mainly due to lower food inflation.
Inflation is expected to average 6.9 per cent at the end of 2017.