When zero growth is desirable
WHAT HAPPENED DATA RELEASED BY Statistics SA revealed the economy shrank by 6,4% in first quarter 2009. The decline was said to be the sharpest in 25 years – the 6,5% contraction in 1984 – prompting National Treasury director-general Lesetja Kganyago to say SA would be lucky if the economy achieved zero growth for the whole year. BUSINESS DAY said bleak as the situation seemed, SA’s fiscal and monetary policymakers have scope to stimulate the economy to avoid the worst of the recession. It mentioned public infrastructural spending and repo rate cuts as possible ways to avert the worst. The Sowetan called on Government, labour and business to work together in this season of industrial unrest.