South Africa in recession after shock economic slump

The South African economy shrank by 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to new Gross Domestic Product numbers, released by Statistics SA on Tuesday.

This followed a contraction of 0.8% in the third quarter, which means that the economy was in recession for the last half of 2019. South Africa last entered a recession - when the GDP falls for two consecutive quarters - in the second quarter of 2018. This is South Africa's third recession since 1994. 

For the whole of 2019, the South African economy grew by only 0.2% (in real terms). In 2018, it saw growth of only 0.8%.

The fourth-quarter decline is larger than economists had predicted, as the economy battles the fallout of load shedding.

Seven out of 10 industries contracted in the fourth quarter, with agriculture (-7.6%) taking the biggest hit.

The manufacturing industry shrank 1.8% in the fourth quarter, while the transport, storage and communication industry saw a decline of 7.2%.

Stats SA reports that household spending increased by 1.4% in the final quarter of 2019, but spending on clothing and footwear was up by 8.5%. 

The weak growth is likely to add more woes to President Cyril Ramaphosa's government, as the economy under his leadership continues to suffer, amid internal and external pressures.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
USD/ZAR
14.59
(-0.1)
GBP/ZAR
20.05
(+0.2)
EUR/ZAR
17.38
(+0.1)
AUD/ZAR
11.12
(-0.1)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(+0.2)
Gold
1,732.77
(-0.6)
Silver
24.82
(-1.7)
Platinum
1,175.09
(-2.4)
Brent Crude
62.95
(-0.4)
Palladium
2,678.50
(+1.4)
All Share
66,390
(-1.2)
Top 40
60,673
(-1.3)
Financial 15
12,144
(+0.2)
Industrial 25
86,617
(-1.1)
Resource 10
67,175
(-2.1)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 1249 votes
No, I did not.
52% - 3118 votes
My landlord refused
28% - 1678 votes
Vote