South African GDP Jumps 3.1% In Q4

South African GDP Jumps 3.1% In Q4

Statistics South Africa said the economy grew 3.1 percent in October-December, the highest rate since the second quarter of 2016, after expanding by a revised 2.3 percent in the third quarter.

Gross domestic product rose 1.5 percent on an unadjusted year-on-year basis in the fourth quarter, compared with a revised 1.3 percent expansion in the previous three months.

Trade recovered in the fourth quarter to expand 4.8 percent after shrinking 0.1 percent in the third, while manufacturing grew 4.3 percent, up from 3.7 percent.

For the full 2017 year the economy grew by 1.3%, that's up from 0.6% in 2016.

"The largest positive contributor to growth in GDP in the fourth quarter was the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, which increased by 37.5% and contributed 0.8 of a percentage point to GDP growth", the agency said.

Spokesperson Tyrone Seal says the new GDP stats should motivate all South Africans.

Market consensus was of a 1.8 percent fourth-quarter rise in growth, while the annual growth rate was forecast at 1.4 percent.

On the other hand, the mining and quarrying fell 4.4 percent thus dragging the overall growth by 0.3 of a percentage point.

This signals that the country's economy is poised for a recovery. It can be added that the Rand reacted positively to the data announcement, strengthening by 0.85 percent against the dollar at the time of writing today.

South Africa Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told reporters in Pretoria on Monday that economic growth forecasts would be revised upwards due to improved business and investor confidence.

However, mining and quarrying decreased by 4.4%, Stats SA said, and in quarter four nominal GDP was estimated at R1,208 billion which is R29 billion (1 United States dollars =1 Rand ) more than in the third quarter. A recession is based on two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

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