South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate was -1,2% in the first quarter of 2016.
The main contributors to the negative GDP growth rate were the mining and quarrying industry and the transport, storage and communication industry. Mining and quarrying fell by 18,1%, largely as a result of lower production of platinum group metals and iron ore. Transport, storage and communication fell by 2,7%, largely as a result of a decline in land transportation (both passenger and freight).
The two other industries that contracted in the first quarter were agriculture, forestry and fishing (-6,5%); and electricity, gas and water (-2,8%). The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry has been in decline for five consecutive quarters.
The strongest performer in value added in the first quarter was finance, real estate and business services. The industry increased by 1,9%, mainly because of growth in finance and real estate services.
Expenditure on GDP2
Expenditure on real gross domestic product fell by 0,7% in the first quarter of 2016.
Household final consumption expenditure decreased by 1,3% in the first quarter. The main source of the decline was spending on transport.
Government final consumption expenditure increased by 1%.
Gross fixed capital formation decreased by 6%. The main contributors to the decline were machinery and other equipment, transport equipment, and buildings (both residential and non-residential).
There was a positive change in changes in inventories in the first quarter, which contributed 1 percentage point.
Net exports made a small positive contribution to total expenditure growth. Exports decreased by 7,1%, mainly because of lower mineral products, precious metals and transport equipment. Imports also decreased by 7,1%, mainly because of lower mineral and chemical products and imports of services.