Category Archives: Economic growth

PGM sales surge due to higher prices

PGM sales surge due to higher prices

Like all other commodities, South Africa’s production of platinum group metals (PGMs) was volatile in 2020 as miners tried to navigate the uncertainty and economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a snapshot of how PGM production, prices and sales fared during the year. Supplies were adversely affected by COVID-19 related mine disruptions   read more »


When talking economics, consider the provinces

When talking economics, consider the provinces

Economic growth is often quite lumpy. A national measure of gross domestic product (GDP) is useful to gauge how a country is doing as a whole. Still, it misses the fact that economic activity varies across towns, cities and regions. Stats SA’s most recent quarterly GDP release provides national data for the entire year of   read more »


Formal non-agricultural sector jobs increase in the 4th quarter 2020

Formal non-agricultural sector jobs increase in the 4th quarter 2020

Jobs in the formal non-agricultural sector increased by 76 000 in the fourth quarter of 2020, bringing the total number of persons employed in the formal non-agricultural sector in South Africa to approximately 9,64 million. This is according to the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES, Q4:2020) survey released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). Year-on-year, formal sector   read more »


Headline GDP growth rate will no longer be annualised

Headline GDP growth rate will no longer be annualised

If you work with gross domestic product (GDP) data or have an interest in economic statistics, the following note might be important to you. Stats SA announced in its most recent GDP statistical release1 that it will no longer use the annualised rate as the headline rate of change. There are several measures of economic   read more »


GDP: Quantifying SA’s economic performance in 2020

GDP: Quantifying SA’s economic performance in 2020

Stats SA’s Gross domestic product (GDP) release for the fourth quarter of 2020 (October–December) concludes the series for the year, providing a sobering overview of 2020.   Manufacturing and trade help lift growth in the fourth quarter The economy grew by 1,5% in the fourth quarter, giving an annualised1 growth rate of 6,3%. This follows   read more »


More people participate in the South African labour market in the 4th quarter of 2020

More people participate in the South African labour market in the 4th quarter of 2020

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), there was an increase of 333 000 in the number of employed persons, an increase of 701 000 in the number of unemployed persons and a decrease of 890 000 in the number of people who are out of the labour force, in the 4th quarter of 2020 compared to   read more »


Reweighting and rebasing of the producer price index

19 February 2021 The producer price indices (PPIs) for January 2021 will reflect updates to the basket and weights, and will be rebased to December 2020 = 100. Tracking price changes of locally produced goods, the PPIs cover the following industries: manufacturing; water and electricity; mining and quarrying; and agriculture, forestry and fishing. Industry-level weights   read more »


Inflation remains low in January

The annual rate of consumer inflation was 3,2% in January, slightly up from December’s reading of 3,1%. The monthly increase in the consumer price index was 0,3%, following 0,2% between November and December. The monthly changes in the CPI have remained within a range of 0% to 0,3% since August 2020. Food and non-alcoholic beverages,   read more »


Love it or hate it – the rand turns 60

Love it or hate it – the rand turns 60

While many couples will be celebrating Valentine’s Day this Sunday, 14 February, historians may have a different take on the day. 14 February 2021 is the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the rand as South Africa’s currency. Following the adoption of recommendations of the Decimal Coinage Commission in 1958, the British-styled pounds, shillings and   read more »


Inflation for 2020 was the lowest in 16 years and the second lowest in 51 years

Inflation for 2020 was the lowest in 16 years and the second lowest in 51 years

The December 2020 Consumer Price Index (CPI) release concludes the data points for the entire calendar year. The average annual inflation rate for 2020 was 3,3%. This is the lowest annual average rate since 2004 (1,4%) and the second lowest since 1969 (3,0%). One of the reasons for low inflation in 2004, according to the   read more »