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WINDHOEK – The Namibian economy recorded a negative growth of 0.1 percent in 2018, Statistician-General Alex Shimuafeni told reporters on Thursday. 

This is a second year in a row that the country has recorded a negative growth; the economy contracted 0.9 percent in 2017. According to Shimuafeni, the main industries driving this weak performance were the secondary and tertiary industries.

Sectors such as hotels and restaurants, wholesale and retail trade as well as transport and communication all fell. Namibia's economy is expected to expand by 1 percent this year, officials said.

Namibia's youth unemployment rate for 15-34 year old bracket has risen by 2.7 percent from 43.4 percent in 2016 to 46.1 percent last year, the 2018 labour force survey results released Thursday showed. 

 Speaking at the event of the release of the survey, Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni said the country still had a lot to do to reduce unemployment especially among the youths. 

 "Unless we do something serious, the trend will continue to go up," he said. According to the survey, overall unemployment reduced slightly by 0.6 percent from 34 in 2016 to 33.4 percent in 2018. 

 "There was no significant difference between the figure of 2016 and the one of 2018," he said. Youth unemployment in Namibia has been on an upward trend since 2012, rising from 37.8 percent to 43.4 percent in 2016. 

XINHUA