Botswana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew in the last quarter of 2015, data by the Statistics Botswana has shown. The numbers body said quarter-on-quarter, the economy grew by 4.9% as opposed to -3.5 reported in the third quarter.
However, the domestic economy decreased by 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to an increase of 3.9 percent accrued in the same quarter of 2014. Stats Botswana noted that the estimated GDP at current prices for the fourth quarter of 2015 was P34, 904.1 million compared to a revised level of P37, 326.6 million registered in the third quarter of 2015.
“The decline was attributed to real Mining value added which decreased by 30.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to a decline of 0.2 percent registered in the same quarter of the previous year. The real Mining value added also decreased significantly in the third quarter of 2015 by 40.6 percent,” it said.
“A decline in the value added of the Mining sector is attributed to the continued weak recovery in the global markets, particularly in the major markets for diamonds. In the quarter under review, copper and diamond production decreased by 59.7 and 20.4 percent respectively,” it added.
Botswana, which relies heavily on mining, has been hit hard by collapse in commodity prices with a number of miners forced to close, downsize or get into trouble with funders. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Mowana and Thakadu copper mines were on provisional liquidation while there was also a plant shutdown at the BCL copper mine during the months of August, September and October 2015.
Meanwhile, Stats Botswana said all other industries recorded positive growth with the exception of Mining, Manufacturing and Agriculture which decreased by 30.5, 1.9 and 0.7 percent respectively.
Water and Electricity value added at constant 2006 prices for the fourth quarter of 2015 was P42.7 million compared to P36.8 million registered in the fourth quarter of 2014. Although Electricity continued to record negative value added, it has shown some improvement.
In the fourth quarter of 2015 Electricity recorded a negative value added of P95.2 million compared to a negative value added of P103.5 million registered in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The improvement is attributed to an increase in local electricity production by 40.2 percent and a decrease of 34.2 percent in electricity imports. Imported Electricity is included in intermediate consumption.
Water has shown some improvement in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter, it registered a decline of 1.9 percent compared to a decrease of 4.0 percent in the previous quarter. Manufacturing recorded a decrease of 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to an increase of 4.6 percent in the same quarter of the previous year.
The decline was attributed to a decline in the value added of all sub industries in this sector. Meat & meat products, Beverages, Textiles, Tanning & leather products and Other manufacturing decreased by 7.4, 5.9, 0.5, 4.6 and 0.6 percent respectively.