Tax overruns, larger economy improve fiscal ratios - but don’t hold your breath

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SA needs faster economic growth to see a dent in its R4 trillion debt.
SA needs faster economic growth to see a dent in its R4 trillion debt.
Allan Baxter

Revised fiscal metrics may be viewed positively by ratings agencies, but South Africa still has to focus on faster economic growth to pay off debt which remains sizeable, according to economists.

The SA Reserve Bank (SARB) on Tuesday released the September 2021 Quarterly Bulletin. It indicated that during the first quarter of the 2021/22 fiscal year - or the three months ending in June 2021 - the economy recorded its first primary surplus since 2018, Bloomberg reported.

The surplus was R9.8 billion or 0.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which reflected an improvement in economic activity, according to the SARB. For the same period last year, the economy recorded a deficit of R96.7 billion, or 8% of GDP.

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