Namibia a debt-ridden nation – Shiimi
News - National | 2018-04-12 | The Namibian
by Staff Reporter
THE Bank of Namibia's governor, Ipumbu Shiimi, yesterday encouraged the nation to avoid living in debt as it also affects economic growth.
He was speaking at a press conference held in Windhoek, where he announced that the monetary policy committee had chosen to keep the repo rate at 6,75% in a bid to safeguard the level of foreign reserves. Shiimi spoke against debt while addressing the slow growth of private sector credit extension (PSCE) in the first two months of the year, in comparison to the same period last year. He said the average annual growth rate of the private sector stood at 5,3% for six months until February 2018, and that this is lower than the 7,2% recorded during the preceding months.
This slower growth of the PSCE was also affected by reduced growth in credit advanced to both the household and corporate sector, especially regarding mortgage and instalment credit.
The governor emphasised the need for the household sector to save money instead of borrowing and consuming things they could not afford.
“We have already said in the past that we are concerned about the debt level of households. We have borrowed up to the limit, and we have become a debt-ridden nation.
“So, this is a moment for all of us to save, and only buy things we need. We cannot continue to rely on the debt; it is not good for ourselves, and it is not good for the health of the nation,” Shiimi stressed.
He added that since the last monetary policy meeting, the growth in the PSCE rose moderately to 5,7% at the end of February 2018, from 5,1% in December 2017.
Shiimi, who announced that the country's foreign reserves had declined from N$30 billion to N$26 billion, emphasised the need to save money, instead of borrowing to spend on frivolous things.
In 2014, credit to the private sector reportedly stood at N$10 billion, compared to N$7,4 billion in 2013.
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