South Africa’s Economic Growth Improves

29 February 2012 - Which Way to Pay

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South Africa’s Economic Growth Improves

According to Statistics South Africa, South Africa’s economy grew at a rate of 3.2 % in the last quarter of 2011, up from a revised 1.7 % in the previous quarter. This figure was slightly better that an expected 3.1 % that was forecasted. Trade industries including wholesale, retail, motor, catering and accommodation all contributed 0.7% to the increase, while the manufacturing industry and government services each contributed 0.6 %. Growth in manufacturing was led by strong growth in the production of iron and steel.  However, the agriculture sector fell by 5%.

Economists at Nedbank said, “Today’s figures confirm that the economy remains vulnerable...Performance remains uneven, with consumers providing the momentum and producers struggling to move forward.”

Despite these improvements the government still forecasts a slower 2012 for growth. Many still remain cautious as gross domestic product could be constrained by the situation in Europe and the uncertainty felt in the global markets as well as South Africa’s own struggle to try and reduce its 23.9 % unemployment figure.  The government says economic growth needs to hit 7 % to reach President’s Jacob Zuma’s goal of creating 5 million jobs by 2020.

Barclay’s analyst Gina Schoeman said, “The many headwinds faced by the production side of the economy cannot be ignored: global demand is slowing, business confidence remains low, cost-push inflation remains rife and local industrial action is likely to emerge once again in 2012.”


Related Links:
• Statistics South Africa
For statistical publications
• Nedbank
News and media
• Economic Calendar
For scheduled economic events
• South African Reserve Bank
The central bank of South Africa


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