SA records 2% economic growth for 2022 – The Namibian

THE South African economy produced more goods and services during 2022, expanding by 2% between 2021 and 2022, from N$4,5 trillion to N$4,6 trillion, statistics officials yesterday announced.

This is despite its output dipping by 1,3% in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous three months, as load-shedding sinks operations in the neighbouring country.

This was announced by the country’s statistics bureau, Statistics SA, which indicated that seven of the 10 industries it tracked shrank during the period from October to December.

The official data shows that the finance, real estate and business services industry shrank by 2,3%.

This was on the back of less economic activity in financial intermediation, insurance and pension funding and auxiliary activities.

As the finance, real estate and business services industry is the largest in the South African economy, the 2,3% decrease was the biggest factor behind the decline in output, subtracting 0,6 of a percentage point from gross domestic output growth.

The trade, catering and accommodation industry was the second-largest negative contributor to growth, recording a contraction of 2,1%.

This was mainly due to a decline in wholesale trade.

Mining output dropped due to a decline in the production of diamonds, iron ore and platinum.

Economic activity in the electricity, gas and water supply industry was hampered by lower levels of production and consumption of electricity (mainly due to load-shedding) and water.

Agriculture recorded the largest contraction in the quarter (-3,3%), mainly due to weaker production figures for field crops and horticulture products.

On the positive side, transport, storage and communication, construction, and personal services shone brightly in the fourth quarter.

Transport, storage and communication made the largest positive impact, rising by 0,7% and contributing 0,1 of a percentage point to growth.

This was mainly due to increased economic activity in passenger land transport, air transport, and communication services.

Struggling state electricity utility Eskom escalated scheduled power cuts in the fourth quarter due to breakdowns at its coal-fired power plants, leaving households in the dark and hurting businesses of all sizes.

The gross domestic product grew 0,9% year on year in the fourth quarter – less than a forecasted 2,2% expansion.

Stats SA said the exploring industries have yet to reach their pre-pandemic levels of production.

Construction is in the worst shape, remaining 23,1% smaller than before the pandemic, and 2022 marked construction’s sixth consecutive year of economic decline.

On the upside, South African agricultural activity was robust in the face of the pandemic.

The industry grew strongly in 2020, while many others faltered, following up with further gains in 2021 and 2022.

The finance, property and business services industry also recorded positive growth figures for all three years, although not as strong as agriculture.

– email: [email protected], Twitter: @Lasarus_A

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