South African economy grows 1.2% in Q2, beats forecasts

PUBLISHED: Tue, 07 Sep 2021 12:27:14 GMT
Alexander Winning
People work at ”The Faktory”, a fashion design and clothing manufacturing company in Johannesburg, South Africa, March 4, 2021. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

PRETORIA, Sept 7 (Reuters) – South Africa’s economy grew 1.2% in the second quarter compared to the previous three months, beating analysts’ forecasts, statistics agency data showed on Tuesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.7% in seasonally adjusted but non-annualised terms.

In unadjusted year-on-year terms, GDP jumped 19.3% in the second quarter, reflecting a low base last year when the government shuttered much of the economy during a harsh lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Read more: South Africa’s unrest likely to shave 0.7% off 2021 growth, says S&P

The agriculture, trade and mining sectors performed well between April and June, whereas manufacturing and construction fared badly.

Statistics South Africa revised first-quarter GDP growth to 1.0% quarter on quarter from a reading of 1.1% previously.

Africa’s most industrialised economy has seen an uneven recovery from the pandemic, with some sectors like mining boosted by bumper commodities prices but others struggling under successive COVID-19 infection waves and lockdown restrictions.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa put public works and job creation at the heart of a recovery plan launched last year. But unemployment struck a new record high above 34% in the second quarter, data showed last month.

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