OECD Say South African Employment Will Rise

28 May 2012 16:00 - Florence Fullalove

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OECD Say South African Employment Will Rise

In its latest Economic Outlook the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said it expects South Africa’s growth to rise to 3.4% in 2012 from 3.1% last year. The think-tank’s estimates sharply contrast with the Treasury’s expectation that growth will slow to 2.7% mainly due to the crisis in Europe, one of South Arica’s main trading partners. The OECD also predict growth will quicken to 4.2% in 2013, which is also well above official and consensus estimates of 3.6%. In the report the OECD said, "A resumption of employment growth is now reinforcing increases in domestic demand and, barring adverse shocks, the hitherto sluggish recovery should accelerate."

Geoff Bernard, the OECD’s economist for South Africa, said one of the reasons for his optimistic outlook was the assumption that the worst of the euro zone’s crisis was over. "You don’t need spectacular growth to get to 3.3% this year ... and there’s every reason to hope that growth will pick up next year," he said. He also added that an acceleration in employment, productivity growth and investment would drive the increase. The OECD said South Africa should step up the pace of reducing its budget deficits, partly through moderating public sector wage increases. "We think there is some room to be more ambitious on the pace of consolidation because we think growth may be somewhat higher," Mr Barnard said. "We think the government still maintains a credible near-term fiscal policy."

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