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GDP growth surprises in South Africa

GDP growth surprises in South Africa

CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s real GDP growth rate accelerated at a 3.1% quarter-on-quarter SAAR during the fourth quarter of 2017, higher than the market consensus of 1.8% SAAR. This contributed to headline GDP growth of 1.3% in 2017 from 0.6% in 2016. Revised GDP numbers for the previous three quarters of 2017 produced by the South Africa Statistical Service, StatsSA, now also show that South Africa avoided a recession during 2017.Primary sector GDP increased by 4.9% SAAR during 2017 Q4: a double digit rebound in agricultural production mitigated a downturn in output in the mining sector during the fourth quarter. Secondary sector economic activity rose by 3.1% SAAR: both the manufacturing and water and electricity sub-sectors recorded strong growth while the growth rate in the construction sector weakened reflecting dismal residential and non-residential building activity. Tertiary sector GDP growth averaged 2.7% SAAR in 2017 Q4: sectors showing the largest contribution to the tertiary sector’s growth performance included wholesale and retail trade sales and the financial sector.