Stats SA to release revised gross domestic product estimates in November

Stats SA to release revised gross domestic product estimates in November

On 25 November 2014 Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will publish the first estimates of gross domestic product for the 3rd quarter of 2014. This statistical release will, however, differ from previous releases in two important aspects.

Benchmarking and rebasing

It is good international practice to periodically change the reference year used in economic statistics, and simultaneously benchmark estimates against new datasets. Typically this is done every five years. Stats SA published the results of the previous benchmark and rebasing exercise in November 2009 when the reference year was changed to from 2000 to 2005. The results of the latest benchmark and rebasing (reference year 2010) will be released on 25 November 2014.

Rebasing is the replacement of the national accounts existing constant prices with new constant prices from a new reference year.

Benchmarking is the reconciliation of high-frequency monthly / quarterly data that track short-term dynamics in the economy with more accurate and detailed annual and periodic data of lower frequency.

The changes in estimates of GDP and the introduction of the new base year require that quarterly and annual estimates, both in nominal and real terms, be revised.

2008 System of National Accounts

South Africa’s national accounts are published according to internationally agreed standards and frameworks. The 1993 System of National Accounts (SNA 1993) was adopted during the benchmarking and rebasing of national accounts in 1999. Since the release of the updated framework, namely the 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA 2008), Stats SA and the South African Reserve Bank have worked towards the implementation of the new standard and framework.

SNA 2008 has six main changes that affect GDP when compared with SNA 1993. Four of these will be implemented in November 2014:

  • Capitalisation of research and development;
  • Treatment of employment stock options as compensation of employees;
  • Capitalisation of expenditure on weapon systems; and
  • Refined method for calculating FSIM (financial services indirectly measured).

The publication of statistical release P0041 Gross Domestic Product, on 25 November, will therefore include the following:

  • First estimate of GDP for the 3rd quarter of 2014;
  • Revised estimates of annual and quarterly GDP from the 1st quarter of 2002 to the 2nd quarter of 2014;
  • First estimates of GDP by region for 2013; and
  • Revised estimates of GDP by region for 2002 to 2012.

For further enquiries, please contact

Gerhardt Bouwer

Executive manager: National Accounts

012 310 8241


Kedibone Mokone

Manager: Gross Domestic Product

012 310 8410