Namibia recorded a 1.8 billion Namibian dollars (148 million U.S. dollars) overall balance of payments deficit during the 2014/15 financial year from a surplus of 598 million Namibian dollars (49 million U.S. dollars) in 2013/ 14.
This was revealed Tuesday by the new minister of finance Calle Schlettwein when he presented the 2015/16 national budget.
Schlettwein said the reason for the deficit was a widening current account deficit.
"The current account continued to register a deficit as a result of strong inflows of imports over exports, which further puts pressure on the stock of foreign reserves, although the stock remains sufficient to support the currency peg," he said.
Schlettwein, however, said Namibia's capital and financial account recorded an increased surplus, primarily due to large net capital inflows from other long-term investment, albeit not enough to offset the deteriorated current account deficit.
"These inflows were due to increased borrowings by the private sector, especially in the mining sector," he explained.
The minister further said Namibia's total revenue outturn for 2013/14 stood at 41.91 billion Namibian dollars (3.4 billion U.S. dollars), which is 10.3 percent increase from the previous year's and 4.4 percent better than the budgeted revenue.
He said for the 2014/15 financial year, the preliminary revenue outturn is estimated at 53.91 billion Namibian dollars (4.4 billion U.S. dollars), which represents a 28.6 percent increase over revenue collected the previous year and about 2.7 percent better than the budget forecast.
Total expenditure for the 2013/14 financial year, he said, stood at 46.73 billion Namibian dollars (4.5 billion U.S dollars), or 35.7 percent of the gross domestic product. Of this, 98.2 percent was utilized as compared to 95.5 percent of 2013/14.
The preliminary expenditure outturn for the 2014/15 financial year, including expenditure commitments, amounts to 54.32 billion Namibian dollars (4.4 billion U.S. dollars), representing 90.2 percent of the 60.20 billion Namibian dollars (5 billion U.S. dollars) budget.
The budget balance stood at 3.7 percent of GDP in 2013/14 and an estimated 4.2 percent of GDP by 2014/15, much better than the budgeted deficit of 5.5 percent.