Trade and tax data have improved the outlook marginally, but consumer spending remains cautious.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's final Budget speech before elections in May is a masterplan to please the masses.
We need a way to measure whether our nations are progressing, in terms of the real things that matter to real people, writes Michael Green.
South Africa's structural problems are holding back growth and job creation, warns the International Monetary Fund.
The rand has slumped to the lowest in more than four years after a report showed growth in Africa's biggest economy slowed in the first quarter.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's budget has shown taxpayers will not see increases in income tax or VAT but sin taxes and fuel levies will go up.
Economic growth pleasantly surprised the market with an increase of 2.1% but analysts are still warning of tough times ahead.
America's "fiscal cliff", the name given to the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax rises and spending cuts, will dominate the economic week.
All the gushing about growth largely ignores the continent's political risks and challenges, says Dianna Games.
The mining sector's wildcat strikes has left a deeper dent in the SA economy than expected with only a 1.2% real gross domestic product increase.
Over the coming days, US President Barack Obama will begin talks on the country's fiscal cliff, while China will wrap up its leadership transition.
While the financial crisis deepens in other parts of the world, the African growth story has just begun, but it's not clear what role SA will play.
The economic week ahead will blow in with a massive storm in the US - the world's largest economy - and end with vehicle sales figures here in SA.
Foreign direct investment flows into South Africa has tumbled 43.6% in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year.
As unprotected strikes continue to spread across SA, the effect on domestic growth for the third quarter will affect output in 2013.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says SA's growth this year is likely to miss forecasts while the central bank warns about the economy's vulnerability.
The summer of the EU's 2012 meltdown will signal SA's winter of discontent as an economic crisis looks set to play out with devastating consequences.
Statistics South Africa says economic growth has slowed slightly in the first quarter of 2012.
Amid weaker than expected data in the US and China, and a flare-up in Europe's debt crisis, markets will be paying close attention to key statistics.