SA’s first-quarter GDP takes a knock, shrinks by 2.2%

South Africa’s real gross domestic product fell by 2.2% in the first quarter of 2018, Stats SA announced on Tuesday.

Statistician general Risenga Maluleke released the figures at a media briefing in Pretoria.

“The 2.2% fall is the largest quarter-on-quarter decline since the first quarter of 2009,” said Stats SA.

Before the announcement was made, analysts predicted that the GDP growth rate would decrease, given the relatively high growth rate of 3.1% achieved in the fourth quarter of 2017.

GDP did, however, grow by 0.8% year-on-year.

This followed a quarter-on-quarter increase of 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017, with overall growth for 2018 at 1.7%.

Mining and agriculture down

The largest negative contributors to GDP growth in the first quarter were the agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries, Stats SA said.

The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry decreased by 24.2% and contributed -0.7 of a percentage point to GDP growth. This was attributed to a drop in the production of field crops and horticultural products.

Mining and quarrying, meanwhile, decreased by 9.9% and contributed -0.8 of a percentage point. This was in part due to decreased production of gold and other metal ores, including the platinum group metals and iron ore.

READ MORE: Weaker than expected mining results may drag GDP down

Manufacturing decreased by 6.4% and contributed -0.8% of a percentage point, with six of ten manufacturing divisions reporting negative growth rates in the first quarter. Basic iron and steel, petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products all took a knock.

Imports and exports also suffered, with exports of goods and services falling by 16.5% and imports of goods and services falling by 6.5%.

On the positive side, finance, government, business services and real estate all made positive contributions. General government grew by 1.8% and contributed 0.3 of a percentage point to GDP growth, while finance, real estate and business services grew by 1.1%, contributing 0.2 of a percentage point to GDP growth. — Fin 24

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Marelise van der Merwe
Marelise Van Der Merwe
Marelise van der Merwe and Daily Maverick grew up together, so her past life increasingly resembles a speck in the rearview mirror. She vaguely recalls writing, editing, teaching and researching, before joining the Daily Maverick team as Production Editor. She spent a few years keeping vampire hours in order to bring you each shiny new edition (you're welcome) before venturing into the daylight to write features. She still blinks in the sunlight.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

The Opera Virgin attends ‘The Marriage of Figaro’

Opening one’s mind to new artistic disciplines could provide enlightenment to glorious new pursuits.

What’s behind the vulture poisonings in Kruger and Chobe parks?

People poison vultures for various reasons, including a belief that they can see into the future and to stop authorities from being alerted to poaching

Kenya’s Ruto declared president-elect amid results chaos

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ruto had won almost 7.18 million votes (50.49%) in the August 9 vote, against 6.94 million (48.85%t) for his rival Raila Odinga.

Kenya vote chief declares Ruto president-elect

The deputy president has been declared the winner of the close-fought election, despite several commissioners rejecting the results

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…