Category Archives: Economy Data Stories

Jobs increase in formal non-agricultural sector in Q3: 2021

Jobs increase in formal non-agricultural sector in Q3: 2021

Jobs in the formal non-agricultural sector increased by 52 000 in the third quarter of 2021, bringing the total number of persons employed in the formal non-agricultural sector in South Africa to approximately 9,62 million. According to the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES, Q3:2021) survey released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), year-on-year, formal sector jobs increased   read more »


Pre-lockdown business profits fall to their lowest level in 14 years

Pre-lockdown business profits fall to their lowest level in 14 years

Net profit before tax in the formal business sector tumbled by 33,4% in the financial year 2020 compared with 2019, with business services and manufacturing the hardest hit. The data, from Stats SA’s latest Annual financial statistics (AFS) survey1 , which mostly covers the period before the lockdown, show that total net profit before tax   read more »


Third wave of COVID and civil disorder pummel economy as GDP falls by 1,5%

Third wave of COVID and civil disorder pummel economy as GDP falls by 1,5%

Under the twin pressures of tighter COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and a spate of civil disorder in July, as well as several other headwinds, the South African economy contracted in the third quarter of 2021 (July–September). After recording four consecutive quarters of positive growth, real gross domestic product (GDP) slumped by 1,5%1, eroding some of the   read more »


Children and the poor are most affected since COVID pandemic

Children and the poor are most affected since COVID pandemic

For children, the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic has significantly impacted the life they once knew. According to a recent report, the General Household Survey, 2020 which was released by Statistics South Africa, COVID-19 has had a distinct impact on the nature of child care arrangements for children aged 0–4 years in 2020. The percentage of children   read more »


An overview of government spending

An overview of government spending

Total South African government spending flirted with the R2 trillion mark in the 2019/20 financial year, according to data published by Stats SA. The data, recently published in the Financial statistics of consolidated general government statistical release, covers the period before the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a benchmark for when comparable pandemic-era data become available. The South   read more »


A deep dive into the price of fuel

A deep dive into the price of fuel

Note: The original version of this article, published on 1 December 2021, was based on fuel price adjustments announced by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on 29 November. On 1 December, the DMRE made changes to these adjustments. This article was revised on 2 December 2021 to reflect these changes. Fuel prices   read more »


The South African economy sheds more than half a million jobs in the 3rd quarter of 2021

The South African economy sheds more than half a million jobs in the 3rd quarter of 2021

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the 3rd quarter of 2021, the number of employed persons declined by 660 000 to 14,3 million compared to the 2nd quarter of 2021. The decline in employment is coupled with a decline in the number of unemployed persons to 7,6 million from 7,8 million, resulting in   read more »


Consumer inflation holds steady in October

Consumer inflation holds steady in October

The annual change in the consumer price index (CPI) in October 2021 was 5,0%, unchanged from the 5,0% recorded in September. The monthly rate also held steady, remaining at 0,2%. Food and non-alcoholic beverages (NAB) and transport were the most significant contributors to both the annual and monthly rates. Annual food inflation slows for a   read more »


The decline in public-sector infrastructure spending

The decline in public-sector infrastructure spending

A simple picture can tell a striking story. The bell-shaped chart below shows the rise and subsequent decline of South African public-sector infrastructure investment. Capital expenditure represents the money that is spent on construction, machinery, equipment, land, buildings and other fixed assets. This form of investment has an impact on communication, travel, logistics and the   read more »


A decline in tuition fees dents higher education revenue

A decline in tuition fees dents higher education revenue

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions in 2020 impacted the finances of higher education institutions. There was a subdued increase in revenue, stifled by a decline in the collection of tuition fees. Higher education institutions spent less money, largely on the back of lower operational costs. Total revenue increased, but only marginally The amount   read more »