South Africa Economy Mired In Longest Recession On Record

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South Africa’s economy contracted at a record pace in the second quarter to sink deeper into its longest recession, owing to the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions since March, data from Statistics South Africa showed Tuesday.

Gross domestic product fell by an annualized 51 percent quarter-on-quarter, following first quarter’s 1.8 percent decline. Economists had forecast a decline of 47.3 percent.

This was the first time that the economy contracted for four consecutive quarters.

On a yearly basis, GDP declined 17.1 percent in the second quarter versus a 0.1 percent rise in the first quarter. GDP was forecast to fall 16.5 percent annually.

The production-side breakdown showed that the largest negative contributors to growth were the manufacturing, trade and transport industries. Manufacturing shrank 74.9 percent, trade, catering and accommodation industry fell 67.6 percent.

The transport, storage and communication industry decreased 67.9 percent, while farm output grew 15.1 percent.

On the expenditure-side, household spending plunged 49.8 percent and government consumption was down 0.9 percent. Gross fixed capital formation declined 59.9 percent.

Net exports contributed negatively to growth in expenditure on GDP in the second quarter. Exports of goods and services were down 72.9 percent. At the same time, imports decreased 54.2 percent.

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