PRETORIA, June 8 (Reuters) – South Africa’s economy expanded at a slower rate in the first quarter of this year compared with the previous three months, as key sectors of mining and trade expanded while farming saw a contraction, data from the statistics agency showed on Tuesday.
The country’s gross domestic product expanded by 1.1% quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of 2021 on a seasonally adjusted and not annualised basis, after an expansion of 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020.
On a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis, the economy grew by 4.6% quarter-on-quarter, following growth of 5.8% in the previous quarter.
Mining expanded 4.2% on a seasonally adjusted, not annualised basis, and trade rose 1.5%. Agriculture fell 0.8%.
“We can see that our rise in the first quarter of 2021 hasn’t reached the levels where we have beenâ€¦ Indeed we see we haven’t come out of the woods sufficiently enough in terms of responding to what has happened in COVID-19 despite the fact that the economy is growing,” Statistician General Risenga Maluleke told a news conference.
On a year-on-year basis, GDP contracted 3.2% in the three months to the end of March, compared to a contraction of 4.2% in the previous quarter.
South Africa’s economy deteriorated sharply last year after the government imposed a strict lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The economy contracted 7% in 2020.
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Alex Richardson and Gareth Jones)