Category Archives: Economic growth

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 »


Formal sector jobs moderately up in fourth quarter

Formal sector jobs moderately up in fourth quarter

New employment figures released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) showed that South Africa’s formal non-agricultural sector added 16 000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2019, bringing the total number of persons employed in the formal non-agricultural sector to 10,2 million. The Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) reported that formal sector jobs rose by 18 000 in   read more »


An update to municipal spending and revenue (December 2019)

An update to municipal spending and revenue (December 2019)

South Africa’s 257 municipalities spent a total of R95,2 billion in the quarter ended December 2019 (October to December). This is how much it costs municipalities to provide services – such as water, electricity and sanitation – to millions of households across the country. The R95,2 billion was higher than the R84,4 billion that was   read more »


Three facts from the Census of Commercial Agriculture

Right now, if a natural disaster happened in Gauteng’s West Rand district, 31% of the nation’s carrot crop would be at risk. Stats SA’s latest set of reports on commercial agriculture show how certain agricultural activities are concentrated in a few, often relatively small, geographical areas. If we take a national view, the production of   read more »


Economy slips into recession

Economy slips into recession

The South African economy contracted by 1,4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, following a contraction of 0,8% (revised) in the third quarter.1 Transport and trade were the main drags on overall activity, according to the latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures. Seven of the ten industries contracted in the fourth quarter. Finance, mining and   read more »


Inflation quickens for a second month in a row

Inflation quickens for a second month in a row

South Africa’s annual inflation rate was 4,5% in January, higher than that recorded in December (4,0%) and November (3,6%). This places inflation right on the 4,5% midpoint of the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy target range. The main contributors to the 4,5% rate were food and non-alcoholic beverages; housing and utilities; transport; and miscellaneous   read more »