GDP decline the biggest in 10 years - BER

In its analysis of last week’s shocking economic figures by Statistics SA, the Bureau of Economic Research (BER) has said that the annualised quarter-on-quarter decline of 3.2% in South Africa’s GDP “marks the biggest contraction since the global financial crisis.

“Compared with the first quarter of 2018, real GDP growth was basically flat at 0.1.”

The bureau added that on the country’s production side, seven of the ten major sectors had contracted.

The major contributors to the GDP decline were manufacturing, mining, and several trade sectors, namely retail, wholesale, and the tourism and hospitality sectors.

“From the demand side, the theme of industry weakness is borne out by the sharp decline in exports during Q1.”

2019’s poor Q2 translated into economic contraction for five quarters in a row, the BER said.

It emphasised that household consumption, following a relatively robust performance in 2018, was also down.

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