Economic activity picks up, but still short of pre-lockdown levels

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Johannesburg. (Getty)
Johannesburg. (Getty)
Allan Baxter

The economy is in recovery mode, but it has not yet back a pre-lockdown levels, data from the SA Reserve Bank shows.

The central bank on Tuesday released the November edition of the composite business cycle indicators.

August's co-incident indicator, which measures economic activity, rose by 7% month-on-month. According to the reserve Bank's report, the rebound in the use of production capacity in the manufacturing sector and expectations of a "meaningful" recovery in real economic activity in the third quarter supported the outcome.

"On an annual basis, August’s co-incident indicator is still markedly lower than a year ago, down by a substantial -19.1% y/y, but slightly improved on July’s drop of -24.8% y/y," said Investec chief economist Annabel Bishop.

The SA economy in the third quarter will still be weaker than levels of economic activity recorded a year ago, she added. The recession during the second quarter was "particularly deep,"she said. On an annualised quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy contracted by a record 51% during the second quarter. The non-annualised rate was 16.4%.

"While positive monthly growth rates since June continue to show that the green shoots of recovery are still underway, and are indeed strengthening, the annual contractions show that a complete recovery has not yet occurred," Bishop emphasised.

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