The Botswana gross domestic product (GDP) contracted in the last part of 2017, Statistics Botswana has revealed. The latest numbers shows the estimated GDP at current prices for the third quarter of 2017 printed at P43, 067.9 million compared to P43, 146.6 million registered in the second quarter of 2017.
However, the estimated GDP at constant 2006 prices for the third quarter of 2017 was P22, 689.2 million compared to P22, 884.4 million recorded in the second quarter of 2017. On the other hand, the domestic economy increased by 1.2% in the third quarter of 2017 compared to an increase of 6.9% recorded in the same quarter of 2016.
“The increase was attributed to real value added of Water & Electricity, Finance & Business Services, Transport & Communications and Mining industries which increased by 15.7, 4.8, 4.5 and 4.4 percent respectively,” said Stats Botswana.
All other industries recorded positive growths of more than 2.0% with the exception of Trade, Hotels and Restaurants which decreased by 9.3%.
Water and Electricity value added at constant 2006 prices for the third quarter of 2017 was P98.3 million compared to P84.9 million registered in the same quarter of 2016, recording an increase of 15.7%. In the third quarter of 2017, Electricity recorded a negative value added of P103.2 million compared to a negative value added of P117.8 million registered in the same quarter of 2016 recording an increase of 12.4%.
The improvement in the Electricity real value added is attributed to an increase in local electricity production by 10.7% and a decrease of 62.1% in electricity imports. “The increase in the real mining value added of 4.4% was mainly driven by Diamond and Other Mining value added which increased significantly by 32.9 and 37.4% respectively.”
Other Mining comprises Gold Mine and quarrying activities. Diamonds production in carats increased by 33.0% in the third quarter of 2017 compared to an increase of 9.3% recorded in the same quarter of 2016. Gold production in kilogrammes increased by 52.6%.
In the quarter under review, Orapa diamond mine production increased by 60% mainly driven by the upgrading of Plant 1, which was previously on partial care and maintenance in response to trading conditions in late 2015. Jwaneng diamond production increased by 23.0% as a result of planned increases in feed to plant.
Mining sector growth without Copper/Nickel stood at 29.7%. The year on year growth compares the third quarter of 2016 value added which has copper contribution and the current period without copper value added. Copper/nickel production was zero due to the provisional liquidation of the BCL mine in October 2016.
Non-mining GDP increased by 0.9% in the third quarter of 2017 compared to 5.6% registered in the same quarter of the previous year.