South Africa’s economy sees the worst quarterly drop in a decade

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The South African economy just had its worst quarter in more than ten years, according to Statistics South Africa.

The stats body on Tuesday announced GDP and economy figures for South Africa in Q1 2019. During the first three months of the year, the economy retracted 3.2% compared to Q4 2018.

It’s the biggest quarterly drop since Q1 2018, and breaks a two-quarter spell of economic gains.

Only government, finance and personal services industries recorded growth.

The losses were driven mainly by mining (-10.8% quarter-over-quarter) and manufacturing sectors (-8.8% quarter-over-quarter). The agricultural sector however was the biggest loser, tanking more than 13.2% quarter-over-quarter.

Electricity (-6.9% quarter-over-quarter) and transport (-4.4% quarter-over-quarter) sectors were the other big losers.

People also spent less money in Q1 2019 compared to Q4 2018. The beginning of the year saw a 0.8% drop over the previous quarter, with a steep 12.7% quarter-over-quarter decline in clothing and footwear spending.

Locals and visitors to South Africa did however venture out more, with restaurants and hotels seeing a 5% increase in spending over Q4 2018.

This is a developing story…

Feature image: stevepb via Pixabay

Andy Walker, former editor


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