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Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has revealed that the South African Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 1.4% in Q4 of 2019, putting the country into a technical recession.

After two successive quarters of negative growth, South Africa has entered into a technical recession. 

“The headline numbers that we are releasing today [03 March] show that the GDP contracted in the fourth quarter of 2019 by 1.4%. If we compare the fourth quarter with the corresponding period of the previous year, where we saw a contraction of 0.5%. And as we are releasing these results, it’s possible for us to calculate the growth for 2019 in totality to a small figure of 0.2%,” said Stats SA Deputy Director-General for Economic Statistics, Joe De Beer.

The report reveals that all three sectors of the South African economy – primary, secondary and tertiary industries – recorded negative growth in the last quarter of 2019.

Out of the 10 industries that Stats SA reports on, only finance (2.7%), mining (1.8%), and personal services (0.7%) recorded growths in Q4:2019.

The largest decreases were recorded in agriculture (7.6%), transport and communication (7.2%), and construction (5.9%).

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The government recorded a 0.4% decrease while manufacturing contracted by 1.8%. Trade and electricity, and gas and water also saw decreases of 3.8% and 4.0%, respectively.  

Overall, the primary sector contracted by 0.4%. This was largely contributed by a 7.6% nosedive in agriculture and a nominal 1.8% mining industry increase.

Meanwhile in West Africa, Bloomberg reported that the Nigerian economic growth has knocked out forecasts in Q4, helping its economy to expand the most in four years in 2019 as oil output increased and the central bank took steps to boost credit growth.

Nigeria’s economy is anticipated will continue to grow steadily, with the International Monetary Fund cutting its forecast for the West African’s 2020 growth to 2% from 2.5% last month due to lower oil prices.

Meanwhile South Africa’s GDP is forecast to expand only by 0.8%.

Edited by ESI AfricaSource: SAnews.gov.za