Africa > Namibia

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Mindaugas Leika, Hector Perez-Saiz, Ms. Olga Ilinichna Stankova, and Torsten Wezel
The paper finds that supervisory stress tests are conducted in more than half of sub-Saharan African countries, particularly in western and southern Africa, and that the number of individual stress tests has grown exponentially since the early 2010s. By contrast, few central banks publish assessments of macro-financial linkages; the focus leans more toward discussing trends and weaknesses within the financial sector than on outside risks that may negatively affect its performance.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Namibia discusses that with the temporary stimuli now ended, the economy is rebalancing while the government is implementing a significant fiscal consolidation. A likely slow recovery, the need for further fiscal adjustment to bring public debt to a sustainable path, persistent inequalities and structural impediments to growth, point to a challenging outlook. Immediate measures are needed to deliver the authorities’ fiscal adjustment plans and bring public debt to a sustainable path. Policies should combine spending reductions and revenue increases that support long-term growth. Better targeting of cash transfers would protect the poor. Structural reforms are urgently needed to strengthen productivity and external competitiveness and boost long-term growth. Reforms should streamline business regulations, contain public sector wage dynamics, and reduce costs of key production inputs. Over time, it is important to remove non-tariff barriers to exports, foster the adoption of new technologies, and address shortages of skilled workers.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The paper assesses the stability of Namibia’s financial system. Macrofinancial vulnerabilities have built up over a period of rapid economic growth in Namibia, and the financial cycle has now turned down. The sovereign debt/GDP ratio has nearly doubled since 2014 which has reinforced the already strong bank-sovereign link. The rapid rise in housing prices and household debt, banks’ large exposure to mortgages, and banks reliance on wholesale funding are sources of concern. A major decline in real estate prices would adversely affect bank capital and profitability. Financial sector oversight has been strengthened significantly since the 2006 Financial System Assessment Program, but further upgrades are needed.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Namibia’s economy has reached a turning point with ending of temporary expansionary factors. GDP sharply decelerated in 2016 and contracted in 2017 as construction in the mining sector came to an end and the government began consolidating. With the economy contracting and Southern Africa Customs Union’s receipts temporarily increasing, the current account balance improved significantly. The outlook remains positive with considerable vulnerabilities and risks. Growth is projected to resume in 2018, as mining production ramps up, construction activity stabilizes and manufacturing recovers, before converging to a long-term rate of about 3.5 percent, below the average of recent years.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Namibia has experienced remarkable growth and economic progress since the financial crisis. Strong policy frameworks and expansionary domestic policies have contributed to macroeconomic stability, robust growth, and rising living standards. Yet deep-rooted structural impediments have kept unemployment high and unresponsive to growth, contributing to persistently high inequality. The outlook remains positive with considerable vulnerabilities and risks. Growth is projected to temporarily weaken to 1.6 percent in 2016 as the construction of large mines ends and the government starts consolidating.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the impact of alternative fiscal consolidation strategies on Namibia’s growth. It uses a model developed at the IMF to gain insights on what would be a growth-friendly composition of the fiscal adjustment. The analysis suggests that a combined strategy of revenue and expenditure measures has lower negative effects on growth than a pure expenditure-based adjustment. Structural reforms improving the efficiency of public investment can further reduce the negative effect of consolidation on growth, and potentially strengthen growth. Overall, minimizing the negative impact of fiscal consolidation on growth requires combining revenue and expenditure measures, together with fiscal structural reforms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines macro-financial risks associated with housing boom in Namibia. Namibia has enjoyed stable and steady progress in financial sector developments, but vulnerabilities might have built up. The recent evolution of Namibia’s housing prices raises a question as to whether the prices reflect economic fundamentals. Overall, estimates based on cross-country evidence of countries that experienced a boom-bust episode in the housing sector suggest that Namibia’s real economic growth could be 3 to 27 percentage points lower than under the baseline scenario over a three-year period. Under the most adverse scenario, in particular, GDP is expected to contract 9.9 percent in real terms over the three-year projection period.