South Africa Economic Forecast

South Africa Economic Outlook

September 19, 2017

According to recently released data, in Q2 South Africa escaped the grip of a downturn that saw the economy briefly enter a technical recession in Q1: GDP grew a seasonally-adjusted 2.5% quarter-on-quarter, contrasting Q1’s 0.6% decline. Following two consecutive quarters of contraction, economic activity expanded at a modest pace primarily thanks to a stellar performance by the agricultural sector amid improved weather conditions. Exports also supported the economy’s return to positive growth dynamics, swinging to a double-digit expansion after a drop in Q1. The upturn seems to have continued into Q3 as contraction in manufacturing output eased. On the downside, investment contracted in Q2 as investors become increasingly risk averse in the face of unending political drama fueled by a string of corruption scandals engulfing President Jacob Zuma, and a widening graft scandal involving numerous international firms. Heightened uncertainty caused business confidence to plummet to an over 30-year low in August, despite the recent revival in growth.

South Africa Economy Data

20122013201420152016
Population (million)52.453.254.155.055.9
GDP per capita (USD)7,5996,7046,6216,0655,299
GDP (USD bn)398357358334296
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.22.51.71.30.3
Consumption (annual variation in %)3.72.00.71.70.8
Investment (annual variation in %)2.67.21.72.3-3.9
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)2.21.30.10.00.7
Unemployment Rate24.924.725.125.426.7
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-4.5-4.1-3.7-3.6-3.3
Public Debt (% of GDP)41.044.147.049.351.7
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)5.75.45.35.36.8
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)5.65.86.14.66.3
Policy Interest Rate (%)5.005.005.756.257.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)8.4811.4711.5715.5013.68
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)8.219.6511.8512.7814.70
Current Account (% of GDP)-5.1-5.9-5.3-4.4-3.3
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-20.4-21.0-19.0-14.7-9.7
Trade Balance (USD billion)-4.6-7.0-7.7-4.21.7
Exports (USD billion)99.993.694.185.576.8
Imports (USD billion)11511111289.675.2
Exports (annual variation in %)-14.3-6.30.6-9.2-11.1
Imports (annual variation in %)-5.0-3.81.3-12.0-16.1
International Reserves (USD)44.144.844.341.842.7
External Debt (% of GDP)35.638.311.537.248.2

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South Africa Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield8.62-0.63 %Oct 13
Exchange Rate13.29-1.34 %Oct 13
Stock Market0.10.22 %Oct 12

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South Africa Economic Growth

September 19, 2017

The economy is projected to recover marginally this year from last year’s seven-year low and accelerate in 2018, although lackluster growth momentum is expected to persist. Higher prices for the country’s key export commodities, namely gold and other precious metals, together with robust agricultural output will be crucial drivers to generating a steady recovery. Panelists expect the economy to grow 0.7% in 2017, and see growth picking up to 1.3% in 2018 which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast.

South Africa Economic News

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