Positive GDP growth in the second quarter of 2016

South Africa’s economy grew by 3,3% quarter-on-quarter (seasonally adjusted and annualised), according to estimates of real gross domestic product (measured by production). This is the fastest quarter-on-quarter rise in economic activity since the fourth quarter of 2014. Year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2016 was 0,6%.


The mining and manufacturing industries contributed over half of the 3,3% rise1. After contracting by 18,1% in the first quarter of 2016, the mining industry recovered strongly in the second quarter, rising by 11,8%. This was mainly due to increased production in platinum group metals (PGMs).

A rise in the production of motor vehicles helped manufacturing expand by 8,1%, the highest expansion since the fourth quarter of 2013. This is corroborated by data from the expenditure side of the economy, showing a substantial rise in exports of passenger and goods-carrying vehicles.

The agriculture industry continued its sickly run in recession territory, posting its sixth consecutive quarter of economic decline. The real value of the agriculture industry has fallen from R77,8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 to R66,7 billion in the second quarter of 20162.

Electricity, gas and water supply was the second industry to contract in the second quarter, falling by 1,8%. Electricity distribution in South Africa has been subdued, contributing to the industry’s contraction. The amount of electricity distributed was 2,0% lower in the first seven months of 2016 compared with the first seven months of 2015, according to Stats SA’s latest Electricity generated and available for distribution release3.

Other quick facts from the latest GDP release:

  • Real GDP increased by 0,3% in the first six months of 2016 compared with the first six months of 2015.
  • Nominal GDP (measured by production) was estimated at R1 068 billion.
  • Expenditure on real GDP increased by 3,4% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Exports of goods and services increased by 18,1% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Household final consumption expenditure increased by 1,0% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Government consumption expenditure increased by 1,3% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Gross fixed capital formation decreased by 4,6% quarter-on-quarter.
  • Imports of goods and services decreased by 5,1% quarter-on-quarter.

Download the GDP release here.

1 Unless otherwise stated, growth rates are quarter-on-quarter, seasonally adjusted and annualised.

2 Constant 2010 prices, seasonally adjusted and annualised.

3 Download Electricity generated and available for distribution here.

Click on the infographic below to enlarge.