Category Archives: Economic growth

Steep slump in GDP as COVID-19 takes its toll on the economy

Steep slump in GDP as COVID-19 takes its toll on the economy

The punch in the gut was severe. Perhaps the second quarter of 2020 will become known as the pandemic quarter. South Africa’s economy suffered a significant contraction during April, May and June, when the country operated under widespread lockdown restrictions in response to COVID-19. Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by just over 16% between the   read more »


EBA spending on transport declines

EBA spending on transport declines

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and the Gautrain Management Agency were two of five transport institutions that cut spending in 2018/19. Total expenditure by extra-budgetary accounts and funds (EBAs) involved in transport fell by 3,5%, from R32,0 billion in 2017/18 to R30,9 billion in 2018/19.1 This is according to the latest Financial statistics of   read more »


An update to municipal spending and revenue (March 2020)

An update to municipal spending and revenue (March 2020)

Local government increased spending by 12,2% over the last year, driven largely by increased spending on employee costs. South Africa’s 257 municipalities spent R96,8 billion in the quarter ended March 2020 on operational costs, up from R86,3 billion in the quarter ended March 2019. This excludes capital spending. The latest Quarterly financial statistics of municipalities report shows   read more »


Inflation rate edges up in June

Inflation rate edges up in June

Annual CPI inflation was 2,2% in June, slightly up from 2,1% in May. The monthly increase was 0,5% – a reversal of the -0,6% recorded between April and May. The dominance of fuel price changes recorded in the previous few months continued in June. Fuel prices increased by 7,5% from May to June, with petrol   read more »


Decline in formal sector jobs in first quarter 2020

Decline in formal sector jobs in first quarter 2020

According to the Quarterly employment statistics (QES) survey released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) the formal non-agricultural sector shed 3 000 jobs in the first quarter of 2020. This brings the total number of persons employed in the formal non-agricultural sector in South Africa to 10,2 million. According to the report, formal sector jobs rose   read more »


GDP falls by 2,0%

GDP falls by 2,0%

The South African economy recorded its third consecutive quarter of economic decline, falling by 2,0% (seasonally adjusted and annualised) in the first quarter of 2020.1 This followed a contraction of -1,4% and -0,8% in the fourth and third quarters of 2019, respectively. The results presented here cover the period 1 January 2020 to 31 March   read more »


Business under lockdown: Pressure might be easing

Business under lockdown: Pressure might be easing

During the final two weeks of Level 5 lockdown, almost half of the businesses responding to our impact survey indicated that they had temporarily ceased trading. During Level 4, this fell to one-fifth, according to a follow-up survey. Other indicators from the Level 4 survey show a similar pattern as the economy returns to full   read more »


Vulnerability of youth in the South African labour market

Vulnerability of youth in the South African labour market

The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2020 indicate that employment decreased by 38 000 to 16,4 million and the number of unemployed persons increased by 344 000 to 7,1 million. As a result, the official unemployment rate increased by 1 percentage point to (30,1%) compared to the fourth quarter   read more »


Inflation the lowest in almost 15 years

Inflation the lowest in almost 15 years

Annual CPI inflation for April reflects the impact of the first month of the COVID-19 lockdown. The rate dropped to 3,0% in April from 4,1% in March, the lowest reading since June 2005 when the rate was 2,8%. Consumer inflation is now at the bottom of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) target range of   read more »


COVID-19: Nine in ten businesses report reduced turnover

COVID-19: Nine in ten businesses report reduced turnover

The second wave of Stats SA’s COVID-19 business impact survey provides an update on how South African businesses are currently faring under lockdown. The first impact survey covered the period 30 March to 13 April 2020, and the results were published on 21 April.1 The survey asked firms in the formal sector how the COVID-19   read more »