Botswana’s economy saw a solid start to the year with a 4.8% growth in the first quarter, official data showed Tuesday. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 4,152.5 U.S. dollars in the first three months of 2018, up 0.9% year on year at comparable prices – a 1.7% decline from the growth rate in the previous quarter, according to Statistics Botswana.
“The increase (in GDP) was attributed to real value added of the mining, transport and communications and finance and business services, which increased by 12.1%, 6.5% and 5.4% respectively,” Botswana’s Statistician General Burton Mguni told a press conference in Francistown, Botswana’s second largest city.
Mguni said the increase in the real mining value added of 12.1% was mainly driven by diamond value added, which increased by 11.5%. Additionally, he said diamond production in carats increased by 11.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a decrease of 2.5 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2017.
“Diamond prices continued to show improvement during the first quarter of 2018,” he said.
According to Mguni, total final consumption expenditure recorded an increase of 4.1% in the first quarter of 2018, whereas in the same quarter of the previous year it rose by 2.1%. Meanwhile, non-mining GDP increased by 4.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 5.7 per cent registered in the same quarter of the previous year.
Image source: Statistics Botswana on Twitter