Business confidence still dropping
“However, the decline of the IJG BCM slowed down to 0.7 points compared to July when it lost 1.2 points,” says the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), compilers of the monitor.
The leading indicator, which predicts future trends, increased by 0.5 points to 41.2 points by the end of August.
“Although remaining under the 50 point mark and therefore still indicating an economic contraction, the slight upward trend, if continued, indicates that the economy is gaining some momentum again,” the IPPR says.
The 31 indicators from which the BCM is compiled sent mixed signals, the institute says.
A total 14 indicators improved, including the number of livestock marketed and cattle prices, the value of building plans completed and approved, new commercial vehicle sales, and credit extended to businesses, as well as the value of exports and imports.
In contrast, lamb prices dropped slightly, diamond production continued its downward trend and remains below the production level a year ago. Copper and gold prices slowed down, while diamond and uranium prices recovered slightly. Arrivals at the international airport were also fewer than in the previous month, but remained higher than in August 2017, IJG says.
Passenger vehicle sales dropped, as did credit extended to individuals. The number of companies registered rose sharply, but this has to be treated with some caution, since it can be almost exclusively attributed to the deadline for applications for fishing rights, according to the IPPR.
“Overall, the trend of some indicators such as the drop in commodity prices and output, rising fuel costs, inflation and the depreciation of the Namibia dollar remain of concern since they squeeze profit margins,” the IPPR concluded.