The domestic economic outlook remains positive, with growth rates of 4.7 per cent and 5.3 per cent expected in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The positive outlook for both the mining sector and non-mining sectors underpins these growth forecasts. Mining sector performance is expected to benefit from the recovery in the global economy, while that of non-mining sectors reflects the impact of Government’s interventions in terms of policies and strategies to diversify the country’s sources of growth.
Balance of payments
Preliminary projections of the current account indicate a lower surplus of P16.6 billion in 2017, compared to the revised estimate of P19.9 billion for 2016. The lower surplus in 2017 was largely a result of the anticipated decrease of 4.2 per cent in total exports of goods. On the other hand, imports were expected to increase by around 5.0 per cent in 2017, mainly due to larger imports of food, fuel, chemicals, rubber products, as well as of diamonds for aggregation purposes. The overall balance of payments is forecast to be a surplus of P297 million in 2017 based on November data, compared to a provisional surplus of P2.8 billion for 2016.
BMC, NDB milking
State-owned enterprises that made losses during the period under review included Botswana Meat Commission with a net loss of P229.7 million in 2016, compared to a net profit of P332.6 million in 2015. The net profit realised in 2015 was due to Government cash injection of P600 million. National Development Bank also recorded a net loss of P168.2 million in 2017, compared to a net loss of P21.2 million in 2016, whereas Botswana Power Corporation registered a net loss of P140.2 million in 2017, compared to a net loss of P99.6 million in 2016. Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) on the other hand, recorded a net loss of P137.6 million in 2017, from a net profit of P119.4 million in 2016, while Air Botswana, improved its performance with a net loss of P12.4 million in 2017, compared to a larger net loss of P86.1 million in 2016.
Total revenues and grants
Total revenues and grants for 2018/2019 are estimated at P64.28 billion. Mineral revenue is the largest contributor to revenues at P24.59 billion, or 38.3 per cent of the total. This represents a significant increase of 50.5 per cent over the revised 2017/2018 budget figure, due to expected positive performance of diamond exports, underpinned by recovery of the global economy. Customs and Excise revenue is the second largest contributor at P14.83 billion, or 23.1 per cent of the total. Compared to the 2017/2018 revised budget, this figure represents a significant decrease of 13.1 per cent, due to the weaker-than-expected imports and household consumption in the region. The Non-mineral income tax revenue is estimated at P13.36 billion, or 20.8 per cent of total revenue. This amount represents an increase of 8.1 per cent over the 2017/2018 revised budget figure of P12.35 billion, reflecting the projected growth in the value addition of non-mining sector. On the other hand, the Value Added Tax is estimated at P8.11 billion, or 12.6 per cent of the total revenue.