Credit extended to businesses in Namibia recorded a negative growth of 1.2 percent at the end of December 2020, compared to a positive growth of 1.6 percent a month earlier, the Bank of Namibia said on Monday.
The contraction was attributed to a drop in asset-backed credit facilities and slower growths in other loans and advances, as well as overdraft credit, as the domestic economy remained subdued, according to the central bank’s Money and Banking Statistics for December 2020.
It said overall inflation rose slightly last December.
“Namibia’s annual inflation rate stood at 2.4 percent in December 2020, relative to 2.2 percent recorded in the preceding month,” the bank said.
“The main contributors to the rise in inflation were food and non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and tobacco and education during the period under review,” it said.
Namibia’s foreign reserves in December rose by 4 percent month-on-month, to 31.8 billion Namibia dollars (about 2 billion U.S. dollars), the central bank said.
“The increase in the official reserve stock was mainly due to net inflows of rand currency from commercial banks during the period under review,” it said, referring to the currency of neighboring South Africa.
The exchange rate of the Namibia dollar is pegged to the rand. Enditem