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Statistics Botswana’s (StatsBots) latest data release shows that the real GDP has expanded by 8.4% year-over-year in the Q3 2021 compared with a contraction of 4.5% year-over-year in the Q3 2020
The real GDP growth in Q3 2021 mainly reflects stronger output in the diamond and wholesale and retail industries.
Most industries improved in Q3 due to the low base set during the corresponding quarter in 2020 due to the slow recovery from harsh global lockdowns in Q2 2020. The only exceptions were agriculture, forestry and fishing (-4.0%); public administration and defence (-1.1%); and finance, insurance and pension funding (-1.4%). The agricultural sector continues to be constrained by lower numbers of cattle marketed, while public services may have declined relative to Q3 2020 when more government support was needed during a critical period of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, mining and quarrying (+29.8%) rose markedly on the back of higher diamond production, which reflects the improved appetite for rough diamonds after Covid-19 travel restrictions curtailed last year’s sight holder events. In addition, stronger activity in the wholesale and retail (+8.2%) and real estate (+5.2%) industries buoyed growth in non-mining GDP, also supported by more relaxed COVID-19 containment measures compared to last year.