Windhoek – The rapid growth of vehicle imports, partly financed by instalment credit, remains a matter of concern in Namibia as it has put pressure on the country’s international reserves and requires monitoring.
Bank of Namibia governor Ipumbu Shiimi, during his monetary policy announcement on Wednesday, said that in light of this development the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had decided to increase the benchmark repo rate by 0.25 percentage point to 5.75 percent.
During the first quarter of 2014, trade deficit increased significantly and a rapid growth in imports of vehicles remained a concern, Shiimi said.
The number of vehicles sold during the first four months of the year increased by more than 50 percent compared with the same period in 2013.
The value of imported vehicles amounted to 2.2 billion Namibian dollars (about US$204.5 million), a significant amount in relation to total import bill of goods of US$15.9 billion.
Shiimi said targeted interventions have been recommended to the relevant authorities but this may take time to implement as legislative changes are required once the measures are agreed on. BERNAMA-NNN-NAMPA