Economic growth slows in 2014

Economic growth slows in 2014

South Africa’s economy grew by 1,5% in 2014, down from 2,2% in 2013, according to preliminary estimates of real gross domestic product (GDP) released by Stats SA. Eight of the ten industry groups experienced some growth during the year, while two industries shrank in size.

The industry that grew the fastest in 2014 was agriculture1, expanding by 5,6%, with government services coming in second place at 3,0%. Economic activity within the mining and electricity2 industries decreased by 1,6% and 0,9% respectively, while manufacturing showed very little change for the year as a whole.

The mining industry was interrupted by widespread strikes during the first half of 2014, resulting in a decline in mining activity in the first quarter (with a decline of -22,8%)3 and second quarter (with -3,0% decline). This was followed by positive growth during the second half of the year, with mining expanding by 3,9% in the third quarter and 15,2% in the fourth quarter.

The increased mining activity in the fourth quarter was due to higher production in the mining of ‘other’ metal ores (including platinum) and ‘other’ mining and quarrying (including diamonds).

GDP is widely used to measure the size of an economy and its performance over time. In 2014 South Africa’s GDP was R3,8 trillion (or R3 800 billion).

Other quick facts for the fourth quarter of 2014 are:

  • Real GDP increased by 4,1% quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised.
  • Manufacturing increased by 9,5% quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised.
  • The unadjusted real GDP increased by 1,3% year-on-year.


1 Agriculture, forestry and fishing.

2 Electricity, gas and water.

3 % change, quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised.


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