Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Renewed confidence surrounding the South African economy

SA dollar bonds gain after better-than-expected GDP data South Africa's fourth quarter GDP expands by 3.1 percent quarter-on-quarter
Laurie Berry | 09 March, 2018, 13:05

While the growth rate hasn't exceeded 2 percent since 2013, prospects for this year are looking up.

South Africa's economy grew more than expected at the end of previous year as agriculture and trade recovered, data showed on Tuesday, boosting its chances of avoiding a potentially debilitating credit ratings downgrade.

The rand was trading at R11.81/dollar on Tuesday afternoon (6 March), in an immediate response to the announcement that South Africa's GDP expanded by 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and by 1.3% for the year as a whole.

Nominal GDP in the fourth quarter was estimated at R1.21trn (for the whole of 2017 the estimate is R4.65trn).

The release added, "Household final consumption expenditure increased by 3,6% in the fourth quarter, contributing 2,2 percentage points to total growth".

The South African economy has been heading in a stronger direction in recent weeks, riding a wave of positive sentiment following the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president.

This signals that the country's economy is poised for a recovery.

IWD: Trains cancelled as women strike in Spain
Women protesters in Barcelona attempted to cut off traffic on some of the city's major thoroughfares which led to minor incidents. While Spain is seeing some of the largest walkouts, women in many other countries around the world were also on strike.

Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene told Fedusa that government would hold talks with stakeholders in a bid to soften the impact of the Value-Added Tax increase on the poor, which comes into effect on April 1.

Compared with a year earlier, gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Policy uncertainty and state graft concerns saw Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings lower their assessments of the nation's debt to junk.

Third-quarter GDP growth in 2017 was revised higher, from 2% to 2.3%.

The economy grew by 1.3 percent in 2017 compared with a revised 0.6 percent in 2016.

The changes were based on better access to data sets, said Statistics SA deputy director-general Joe de Beer.

But economic growth - the single most important factor to dent South Africa's 27 percent joblessness rate - remains dismal.

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