WINDHOEK, March 1 (Reuters) - Business confidence in Namibia edged lower in January, with investment remaining subdued while exports decline, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Business Climate Index, which incorporates 13 broad economic indicators, dropped 3.5 points to 119.5 in the first month of the year, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) which compiles it said.
The investment index fell by 12.5 points as businesses bought fewer vehicles while new company registrations and new building plans slumped.
The debt crisis in the euro zone hit exports to Europe, pulling the export index down 2.7 points. But domestic consumer sentiment was upbeat in January, with the consumption index rising 2.6 points.
"Consumer credit was up 2 percent month-on-month as consumers' appetite for overdrafts, credit cards and vehicle and asset finance increased," the IPPR noted.
Namibia, which relies heavily on mining and is a major uranium producer, expects sluggish growth of 4.4 percent in 2012, gradually picking up to 4.9 percent by 2014, Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said in her budget speech on Tuesday.. (Reporting by Servaas van den Bosch; Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa)