Botswana economy grows in Q1 of 2018

Businesses are brimming with confidence in the President Mokgweetsi Masisi era and they continued to ramp up their outlays in the first quarter of 2018 following the bouncing back of the mining sector, spurring consumer spending.

The nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) – the value of all goods and services produced in the country – increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.8 percent, recent data by Statistics Botswana (SB) has indicated.

According to Statistician General Dr. Burton Mguni, the domestic economy increased by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to an increase of 0.9 percent recorded in the same quarter of 2017.

“The increase was attributed to real value added of mining, transport and communications and finance and business services which increased by 12.1, 6.5 and 5.4 percent respectively,” said Mguni in the latest report.

Mguni further explained that all other industries recorded positive growths of more than 2.0 percent with the exception of trade, hotels and restaurants which decreased by 0.7 percent year-on-year.

He said the increase in the real mining value added of 12.1 percent was mainly driven by diamond value added which increased by 11.5 percent. Furthermore, diamond production in carats increased by 11.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a decrease of 2.5 percent recorded in the same quarter of 2017.

In addition, Mguni said diamond prices continued to show improvement during the first quarter of 2018 while transport and communications value added increased by 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

“The growth was mainly attributed to the increase in real value added of rail transport, post and communications and air transport by 12.5, 6.9 and 6.2 percent respectively,” he said.

Total final consumption expenditure recorded an increase of 4.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018, whereas in the same quarter of the previous year it rose by 2.1 percent, said the country’s statistician.

Household final consumption increased by 4.1 percent while the government final consumption increased by 4.2 percent and fixed capital formation increased by 3.2 percent in the quarter under review, reads part of the report.

Econsult Botswana Managing Director, Keith Jefferis said the economy grew at a healthy pace in the first quarter – a development that will result in the free-spending by consumer and a surge in business investment.