Gov’t Stats Reveal Covid Impact On Economy

  • Real GDP decreases by 24 percent in second quarter of 2020

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

Growth of Botswana’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decelerated by 24 percent in the second quarter of 2020, compared to an increase of 3 percent of the same period in 2019, Statistics Botswana has revealed.

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In a report signed by Statistician General, Dr Burton Mguni, at constant 2006 prices for the second quarter of 2020, Botswana’s real GDP was P18, 848.7 million, compared to the revised P25,074 million recorded in the first quarter of 2020.
Dr.Mguni says the steep reduction in the domestic economy was observed across all sectors except Government, Agriculture and Water & Electricity. He attributed the poor performance of the economy in the period under review to the impact of measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The Public sector increased by 2.1 percent in real value added compared to 4.2 percent during the corresponding quarter of 2019, Agriculture by 3 percent during the second quarter of 2020 relative to a narrow contraction of 0.5 percent registered during the same quarter of 2019, Dr Mguni’s report says.

The report shows that at constant 2006 prices, value added by Water & Electricity for the second quarter of 2020 was P257.8 million, compared to P257 million registered in the same quarter of 2019, recording an increase of 0.3 percent. But Dr Mguni notes: “Even though the industry recorded positive growth, its contribution to the economy still remained the lowest.”

Trade, Hotels & Restaurants went down by 40.3 percent in the second quarter of 2020, compared to an increase of 5.1 percent registered in the same quarter of the previous year. The high reduction is attributed to a decrease in the real value added of Hotels & Restaurants, Wholesalers and Vehicle Dealer’s sub-industries by 61.7, 54.7 and 38.4 percent, respectively.

Manufacturing recorded a decline of 31.3 percent in real value added during the period under review as compared to a growth of 3.5 percent registered in the same period last year.

The Construction industry recorded a decline of 36 percent, compared to 3 percent realised in the corresponding quarter in 2019. Transport and Communications decreased by 16.9 percent in the period under review, compared to 5.4 percent recorded in the same quarter of the previous year, the report says.

The Finance & Business Services sector registered negative growth of 11.9 percent due to a decline in the real value added of Business Services and Real Estate by 24.4 and 17.8 percent.