Category Archives: Economic growth

Medical aid and transport costs nudge inflation higher

Medical aid and transport costs nudge inflation higher

Consumer inflation edged up slightly from 4,0% in January 2019 to 4,1% in February 2019, remaining firmly within the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) inflation target range of 3%–6%. Notable drivers behind the rise were medical insurance and transport costs. Stats SA surveys health insurance fees in February of each year. On average, medical-aid schemes   read more »


Government finances: surplus, deficit and debt

Government finances: surplus, deficit and debt

Believe it or not, there was a time – not so long ago – when the South African government actually spent less than it earned. Stats SA takes a look at government spending over 13 years, focusing on how much we pay to service our debt. Harking back to better times in February’s National Budget   read more »


Economy edges up by 0,8% in 2018

Economy edges up by 0,8% in 2018

The South African economy grew by 1,4%1 in the fourth quarter of 2018, contributing to an overall growth rate of 0,8% for the entire year. The latest set of gross domestic product (GDP) figures released by Stats SA provides an overview of economic performance in 2018. South Africa found itself in economic recession in 2018,   read more »


Dismal December for retailers

Dismal December for retailers

The most important month of the year for retail trade is December, when many consumers are on holiday and go Christmas shopping. But December 2018 was a tough month for retail in South Africa. The volume of sales fell by 1,4% year-on-year, which was the first negative annual growth rate since February 2017. The poor   read more »


Unemployment drops in fourth quarter of 2018

Unemployment drops in fourth quarter of 2018

South Africa’s unemployment rate decreased by 0,4 of a percentage point to 27,1% in the 4th quarter of 2018 compared to the 3rd quarter of 2018 according to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics South Africa. The working-age population increased by 149 000 or 0,4% in the 4th quarter of 2018 compared   read more »


Manufacturing: winners and losers of 2018

Manufacturing: winners and losers of 2018

The manufacturing industry rebounded in 2018, recording its highest annual growth rate in five years. The food and beverages and automotive divisions were the major drivers behind the rise. However, manufacturers in communication equipment, electrical machinery and clothing failed to perform. Manufacturing production increased by 1,2% in 2018 compared with 2017, according to Stats SA’s   read more »


The recession ends as GDP climbs by 2,2%

The recession ends as GDP climbs by 2,2%

The South African economy grew by 2,2% quarter-on-quarter (seasonally adjusted and annualised) in the third quarter of 2018, bringing to an end the country’s second recession since 1994. Higher contributions to growth in a number of industries – most notably in manufacturing, transport as well as finance and business services – were enough to lift   read more »


General government spending slows in 2016/17

General government spending slows in 2016/17

Indicative of an economy under strain, expenditure by general government increased by just 4,7% from 2015/16 to 2016/17. This is the lowest annual rise in spending on record since 2005/06, when Stats SA started publishing the current series of its Financial statistics of consolidated general government report. The latest financial data provide an updated picture   read more »


Formal employment declines in second quarter of 2018

Formal employment declines in second quarter of 2018

According to the figures from the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) survey, released by Statistics South Africa, the total number of jobs reported in the second quarter showed a decrease of 69 000, bringing the total number of persons employed in the formal non-agricultural sector of South Africa to 9 748 000. Job losses were reported in the   read more »


The economy shrinks by 0,7% in Q2: 2018

The economy shrinks by 0,7% in Q2: 2018

The South African economy slipped into recession during the second quarter of 2018, shrinking by 0,7% quarter-on-quarter (seasonally adjusted and annualised). This followed a revised 2,6% contraction in the first quarter of 2018. The widely recognised indicator of recession is two (or more) consecutive quarters of negative growth (real GDP quarter-on-quarter). South Africa experienced its   read more »