SA GDP grows by 3.3% in Q2
JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s economy grew by an annualized 3.3 percent in the second quarter, thanks to a sharp increase in manufacturing activity and a recovery in the mining sector, the country’s statistics office said Tuesday.
The rise in gross domestic product, South Africa’s largest since the fourth quarter of 2014, follows a 1.2 percent contraction in the first three months of the year.
It may take some pressure off the government of President Jacob Zuma, who is in a protracted battle with his finance minister, Pravin Gordhan over the future direction of Africa’s most developed economy.
The GDP jump was driven by a 8.1 percent increase in the manufacturing sector, which contributed 1 percentage point to overall growth, the statistics office said. South Africa expanded its production of pe- troleum products, chemicals as well as cars and other transport equipment.
The mining and quarrying sector, especially for platinum, added an extra 0.8 percentage point, thanks to a 11.8 percent jump in income there.
A continuing drought and water restrictions in some parts of the country were partly to blame for declines in output from agriculture, forestry and fishing as well as the electricity, gas and water sector, the statistics office said.
The unexpectedly large increase in GDP will shift the focus to the next monetary policy meeting of the South African Reserve Bank on 22 September. At its last meeting in July, the bank lowered its growth forecast for the year to zero from 0.6 percent previously, saying it expected only a lackluster recovery. — WSJ