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Namibia Economy Profile 2018

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Economy - overviewNamibia’s economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for 11.5% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Marine diamond mining is increasingly important as the terrestrial diamond supply has dwindled. The rising cost of mining diamonds, especially from the sea, combined with increased diamond production in Russia and China, has reduced profit margins. Namibian authorities have emphasized the need to add value to raw materials, do more in-country manufacturing, and exploit the services market, especially in the logistics and transportation sectors.

Namibia is the world's fifth-largest producer of uranium. The Chinese-owned Husab uranium mine is expected to start producing uranium ore in 2017. Once the Husab mine reaches full production, Namibia is expected to become the world’s second-largest producer of uranium. Namibia also produces large quantities of zinc and is a smaller producer of gold and copper. Namibia's economy remains vulnerable to world commodity price fluctuations and drought.

Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years, food shortages are problematic in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, obscures one of the world's most unequal income distributions. A priority of the current government is poverty eradication. Despite a drought, real GDP growth remained strong in 2015 because of construction in the mining and housing sectors, coupled with an expansionary fiscal policy. GDP growth in 2017 slowed to about 1%, however, due to contractions in both the construction and mining sectors, as well as the ongoing drought. Growth is expected to recover modestly in 2018.

A five-year Millennium Challenge Corporation compact ended in September 2014. As an upper middle income country, Namibia is ineligible for a second compact. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Namibia receives 30%-40% of its revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU); volatility in the size of Namibia's annual SACU allotment and global mineral prices complicates budget planning.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$27.02 billion (2017 est.)
$26.81 billion (2016 est.)
$26.52 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$12.56 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate0.8% (2017 est.)
1.1% (2016 est.)
6% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$11,500 (2017 est.)
$11,500 (2016 est.)
$11,600 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving18% of GDP (2017 est.)
11.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 71.9%
government consumption: 23.3%
investment in fixed capital: 22.2%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 41.7%
imports of goods and services: -59% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 6.6%
industry: 25.8%
services: 67.6% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line28.7% (2010 est.)
Labor force956,800 (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 31%
industry: 14%
services: 54%
note: about half of Namibia's people are unemployed while about two-thirds live in rural areas; roughly two-thirds of rural dwellers rely on subsistence agriculture (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate28.1% (2014 est.)
29.6% (2013 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 56.2%
male: 49.4%
female: 62.2% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 42% (2010)
Distribution of family income - Gini index59.7 (2010)
70.7 (2003)
Budgetrevenues: $3.967 billion
expenditures: $4.759 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues31.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public debt43% of GDP (2017 est.)
40.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)6% (2017 est.)
6.7% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate7% (12 April 2017)
6.5% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate9.9% (31 December 2017 est.)
9.87% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.878 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.898 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$6.03 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.281 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$6.977 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$7.006 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.305 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$1.152 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.176 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Agriculture - productsmillet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes; livestock; fish
Industriesmeatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, pasta, beverages; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)
Industrial production growth rate2.2% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance-$921 million (2017 est.)
-$1.529 billion (2016 est.)
Exports$4.71 billion (2017 est.)
$4.003 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesdiamonds, copper, gold, zinc, lead, uranium; cattle, white fish and mollusks
Exports - partnersSwitzerland 20%, South Africa 17.1%, Botswana 15%, Zambia 6.7%, Spain 4.6%, Italy 4.2% (2016)
Imports$6.846 billion (2017 est.)
$6.441 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfoodstuffs; petroleum products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Imports - partnersSouth Africa 57.1%, Botswana 6.8%, Zambia 4.1% (2016)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.949 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.834 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external$7.489 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$6.904 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
Exchange ratesNamibian dollars (NAD) per US dollar -
13.67 (2017 est.)
14.7096 (2016 est.)
14.7096 (2015 est.)
12.7589 (2014 est.)
10.8526 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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