Non-Mining sector 4.1% growth boost GDP
Construction industry still in Covid-19 coma
Diamond production declines by 12.1%
Botswana’s domestic economy, GDP registered a positive growth of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a contraction of 4.6 percent registered in the previous quarter.
This is according Statistics Botswana (SB) statistics brief on rebased estimates of the national accounts of Botswana by Economic Activity and Components of Final Demand at current and constant prices for the period 2014 to 2020 as well as the (GDP) estimates for the first quarter of 2021.
Statistician General Dr Burton Mguni said the nominal GDP for the first quarter of 2021 was at P47, 739.3 million as compared to a revised P45, 630.2 million registered during the previous quarter.
“This represents a quarterly increase of 4.6 percent in nominal terms between the two periods. During the quarter under review, Public Administration and Defence became the major contributor to GDP by 18.4 percent, followed by Wholesale & Retail by 11.4 percent. The contribution of other sectors was below 6.0 percent, with Water and Electricity Supply being lowest at 1.6 percent,” he said.
Dr Mguni said the improvement in the first quarter 2021 GDP, reflected continued efforts to reopen businesses and resume activities that were postponed or restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Statistics Botswana says a decrease in the real value added of Mining and Quarrying by 11. 4 percent was driven by the drop in the gold and diamond real value added by 17.5 and 12.5 percent respectively.
“Diamond production in carats went down by 12.1 percent while the tonnage of gold produced went down by 17.5 percent. The poor performance of the diamond sub-industry is attributed to the reduction in production due to a lower grade feed to the plant at Orapa in response to the heavy rainfall and the operational issues, including the continued power supply disruptions. Gold is affected by diminishing resource base which affect production,” said Statistics Botswana.
On the other hand, the construction industry recorded a decline of 4.8 percent compared to an increase of 4.3 percent realised in the corresponding quarter in 2020; hence an enormous decline.
This industry comprises of buildings construction, civil engineering and specialised construction activities and, according to Statistics Botswana, it is still showing signs of the consequences of Covid-19. Construction industry has also recorded a negative growth of 7.4 percent in the previous quarter.
The Non-mining GDP increased by 4.1 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 4.0 percent increase registered in the same quarter of the previous year thus showing its continued resilience.
Furthermore, SB said the industry that deals with the sales of a fast moving consumer goods, Wholesale and Retail Trade real value added increased by 11.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to an increase of 5.5 percent registered in the same quarter of the prior year. Accommodation and Food Services real value added declined by 31.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to a decrease of 4.4 percent registered in the same quarter of the previous year.
“The suspension of air travel occasioned by Covid-19 containment measures impacted on the number of tourists entering the borders of the country and hence affecting the output of Hotels and Restaurants industry. Covid-19 restriction measures resulted in reduced demand for leisure and the conferencing activities, as conferences are largely held through virtual platforms,” said Statistics Botswana.