Savings rate up again.
has recovered after declining in
recent years, the Namibia Statistics Agency said recently.
After declining markedly in the aftermath of the international
financial crisis in 2009, Namibia’s gross savings to
(guanosine diphosphate): see guanine.
rebounded to 30.5% in 2012; the first time in two years that the savings
rate has grown faster compared to the investment rate. For 2012,
gross fixed capital formation
or investment ratio stood
at 21.1%, a 11.6% increase from the previous year.
Namibia has had historic low interest rates since August 2012 which
analysts feared would fuel consumption while discouraging saving, but
despite these fears, the country’s net savings increased 75.2% to
N$19.3 billion last year mainly driven by savings by the private sector.
Namene Kalili, Manager of Research at
FNB Food and Beverage
FNB Front Nouveau de Belgique
said while there was a
6.8% growth in consumption expenditure in 2012, most of the growth came
from the government sector. He added that while private consumption was
above average, consumers still saved up to almost 30% of their income.
Statistician General, John Steytler told The Economist that
although he is pleased with the rebound in savings, he was concerned
that the country was not retaining these savings.
Steytler said: “It’s a higher rate (savings rate), but my
worry is that we don’t retain the savings; a big part of it is
still leaving the country.”
He added: “The economy does not grow because we are saving;
the economicy grows if we invest. So we have to understand what are the
reasons that our savings cannot find investment opportunities, but they
can find opportunities outside. Is it because there are no opportunities
or is it because the investment climate is not conducive? If you say the
investment climate is not conducive, why do foreigners find it
attractive to invest here?”
Steytler said he was worried that mandates given by the Government
Institutions Pension Fund to companies like Safland in an effort to
satisfy the requirements of Regulation 28 which forces pension funds to
invest part of their resources in local unlisted assets, will not be
beneficial in the long term. “The GIPF have started giving
mandates. Some of the mandates are to build shopping malls to Safland.
The Grove Mall in the end will be South African shops and we are going
to import more South African goods. In the short term we will create
jobs during construction, but your import bill and dependence on
Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa.
will increase,” Steytler said.
The Statistician General advised that local savings should be used
to fund Namibian enterprises. He called for the activation of an
industrial policy that would allow for investments by locals in any
sector with guaranteed protection from foreign competition.
By Nyasha Francis Nyaungwa