South Africa Economic Forecast

South Africa Economic Outlook

April 16, 2019

South Africa’s economy has, slowly but surely, been on the mend since last year’s short-lived recession, but a number of potential setbacks threaten its further recovery. On the heels of last year’s household spending- and net export-led fourth quarter, available first-quarter indicators have been downbeat; lower inflation has done little to bolster retail sales, while dwindling business confidence and feeble manufacturing output hint at another round of foregone outlays on machinery and equipment. More recently, however, Moody’s upheld its investment-grade credit rating on 2 April. That said, rolling blackouts—testament to Eskom’s mismanagement—and general elections scheduled for 8 May are each taking their toll. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s market-friendly reforms will be on the line, although opinion polls suggest that his African National Congress should secure another majority.

South Africa Economic Growth

Lackluster growth is expected to persist this year. Policy uncertainty in the aftermath of this year’s general elections could hinder the short-term economic recovery. That said, a mandate for Ramaphosa on 8 May would ensure follow-through on his last-ditch economic reforms. As the dust settles, higher real wages should help lift economic sentiment. Met the why particular analysts expect growth of 1.4% in 2019, down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 1.8% in 2020.

South Africa Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)53.153.954.855.656.5
GDP per capita (USD)6,7156,6356,0975,3416,281
GDP (USD bn)357358334297355
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.51.81.30.61.3
Consumption (annual variation in %)2.00.81.80.72.2
Investment (annual variation in %)7.20.73.4-4.10.4
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)1.30.10.00.7-0.5
Unemployment Rate24.725.125.426.727.5
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-4.1-3.7-3.6-3.3-3.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)44.147.049.351.653.0
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)5.45.35.36.74.7
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)5.86.14.66.35.3
Policy Interest Rate (%)5.005.756.257.006.75
Exchange Rate (vs USD)11.4711.5715.5013.6812.38
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)9.6511.8512.7814.7013.31
Current Account (% of GDP)-5.8-5.1-4.6-2.8-2.5
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-20.6-18.1-15.3-8.3-8.7
Trade Balance (USD billion)-7.2-6.9-5.01.26.0
Exports (USD billion)93.394.984.776.290.5
Imports (USD billion)11111289.675.184.5
Exports (annual variation in %)-6.61.7-11.8-11.018.7
Imports (annual variation in %)-3.81.3-12.0-16.312.5
International Reserves (USD)44.844.341.842.745.3
External Debt (% of GDP)38.311.637.248.148.8

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South Africa Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield8.530.29 %May 13
Exchange Rate14.31-0.21 %May 13
Stock Market0.6-0.44 %May 13

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