Surprise growth spurt for SA

Pretoria - South Africa's economic growth quickened more than expected to 3.8% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2013 after expanding by 0.7% in the third quarter, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday.

On an unadjusted year-on-year basis, the economy grew by 2% in the fourth quarter compared with a revised 1.7% in the previous three months.

The economy expanded by 1.9% in 2013 from 2.5% the previous year, the statistics agency added.

Economists polled by Reuters expected quarter-on-quarter growth of 3.4%, while the year-on-year rate was seen at 2.1%.

During 2013, goods and services to the estimated value of R3.4 trillion were produced, which was R246bn more than the previous year.

Finance, real estate and business services contributed the most to the economy at 0.5%.

The wholesale, retail and motor trade contributed 0.3%, as did the catering and accommodation industry.

The mining and quarrying industry; storage and communication industry, and general government services each contributed 0.2%.

Finance, real estate, and business services expanded by R54bn to R652bn, and accounted for 21.5% of the economy.

General government services expanded by R52bn to R518bn, accounting for 17.1% of the economy.

The wholesale, retail and motor trade, and catering and accommodation industry expanded by R47bn to R502bn, contributing 16.6% of the economy.

The manufacturing industry made up 11.6% of the economy.



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