Economic growth slows

By Drum Digital
29 May 2012

Economic growth slowed slightly in the first quarter of 2012, Statistics SA announced on Thursday.

Seasonally adjusted real GDP rose by an annualised rate of 2.7 percent during the quarter. This is a slower rate than the 3.2 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Manufacturing grew by 7.7 percent during the quarter, contributing over a third of the increase in GDP.

Finance, real estate and business services also performed well, rising by 4.1 percent. Construction rose by 3.8 percent.

Wholesale, retail, motor trade and accommodation grew three percent. General government services grew by 2.3 percent. Transport, storage and communication rose by 2.5 percent.

But the quarter also saw a strong contraction in the mining sector. It contracted by 16.8 percent. Electricity supply had tightened during the quarter, resulting in the fall in production.

"Both production and consumption of electricity were low due to plant maintenance," said Stats SA spokeswoman Kedibone Mabaso.

"The Koeberg nuclear plant shut down for refuelling in early March, to re-open in June.

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