JOHANNESBURG, December 4 – South Africa’s economy expanded by 2.2 percent in the third quarter of the year following a revised 0.4 percent contraction in the second, effectively exiting a technical recession, the statistics agency said on Tuesday.
The third quarter growth was driven by the manufacturing, transport and finance industries, Statistics South Africa said.
Manufacturing expanded by 7.5 percent, with basic iron and steel, metal products and machinery; wood, paper and publishing; petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products and motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment making the largest contributions.
Finance, real estate and business services were also up 2.3 percent. Increased economic activity was reported for financial intermediation, insurance, auxiliary activities, real estate activities and business services.
Stats SA also reported rises in the transport, storage and communication as well as the trade, catering and accommodation industries.
Mining however 8.8 percent, deducting 0.7 percentage points to the overall third quarter GDP number, while construction, electricity, gas and water were also down.
Household final consumption expenditure rose by 1.6 percent, contributing one percentage point to total growth.
Africa’s most industrialised economy has struggled to grow meaningfully over the past decade, denting efforts to slash unemployment which currently stands at above 27 percent of the labour force.
In its medium term budget policy statement in October, the National Treasury cut the 2018 overall GDP forecast to 0.7 percent from the 1.5 percent it had predicted in February. (ANA)