SA claws its way out of recession with 2.2% GDP growth

SA claws its way out of recession with 2.2% GDP growth

South Africa broke free of recession on Tuesday when it reported GDP growth of 2.2 per cent for the third quarter, the statistics authority said, marking a positive economic trajectory ahead of elections.

A Bloomberg consensus was 1.9%, with all economists polled expecting SA to see growth.

South Africa emerged from its first recession in nearly a decade in the third quarter as recoveries in manufacturing and agriculture contributed to an increase in economic growth.

The biggest drivers of quarterly growth were increases in manufacturing output, which rose 7.5%, and agriculture, which surged 6.5%.

Real growth for the year will probably come in at less than 1%.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to power as head of the ruling party in December last year and then of the country in February initially boosted sentiment and the rand following Jacob Zuma's tenure of nearly nine years. The economy expanded 1.1% from a year earlier.

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The rand gained as much as 1.1 percent before paring the advance to trade 0.9 percent up at 13.5655 per dollar by 1 Johannesburg, the strongest level in nearly four months.

Bonds also rose, with the yield on the benchmark 2026 paper down 1.5 basis points to 8.895%.

The consumption-heavy configuration of the expansion brings doubts over how sustainable the recovery is.

The economy had shrunk 0.7 percent in the second quarter, unexpectedly tipping the country into its first recession since 2009.

"I will be meeting with the business community soon, so that we rally everyone together and pull our country out of the situation that we are in", he said in September while unveiling a range of measures as part of an economic stimulus plan to boost investor confidence.

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