Economy grows at 3.8% in fourth quarter

26 February 2014

South Africa’s economy bounced back in the fourth quarter of 2013, growing at a rate of 3.8% on the back of stronger performances from the country’s manufacturing and mining sectors, Statistics SA reported on Tuesday.

This followed gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 0.7% for the third quarter.

Investec senior economist Annabel Bishop warned against reading too much into the figures, however, telling Business Report that the rebound reflected not economic strength so much as the return to work of strikers following protracted strikes earlier in the year.

Stats SA also reported that South Africa’s overall economic growth for 2013, according to the first preliminary estimates, stood at 1.9%. This was down from 2.5% growth in 2012 and 3.6% growth in 2011.

“The nominal GDP at market prices in 2013 was R3.4-trillion, which is R246-billion more than in 2012,” Stats SA said in a statement, adding that the most notable performers for the year were finance, real estate and business services (expanding by R54-billion to R652-billion) and general government services (expanding by R52-billion to R518-billion).

In the fourth quarter, Stats SA said, the country’s manufacturing sector recorded growth of 12.3%, thanks to higher production in food and beverages, petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastics, and motor vehicles, parts and accessories.

Mining, driven by higher production on the country’s gold and platinum mines, grew by 15.7% in the quarter.

SAinfo reporter