South African government plans to halve poverty and unemployment by 2014 appeared increasingly at risk on Tuesday as official statistics confirmed fears of a downturn in economic growth. Figures released by Statistics South Africa showed a drop in gross domestic product growth to 5,1% last year from 5,4% in 2006.
Overwhelmingly positive or mediocre? Economists on Wednesday had a variety of impressions to share of Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's national budget, tabled in Parliament earlier in the day. Colen Garrow, economist at Brait, said: "There was nothing in it for the embattled consumer."
The rand is back to being one of the world's worst-performing currencies in 2008 after a brief respite last year, and there appears nothing, for now, to halt its slide. A chronic energy crisis that is likely to slice into economic growth, political uncertainty and a gaping current-account deficit paint a gloomy picture for a currency prone to volatility.
South Africa's producer price index (PPI) rose by 10,3% year-on-year (y/y) in July from a 10,4% year-on-year increase in June, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) data on Thursday showed. The PPI rose 1,6% on a monthly basis after June's monthly increase of 2,1%.
South Africa's real gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted annualised (saa) basis rose by 4,5% in the second quarter of 2007 from 4,7% in the first quarter of 2007, Statistics South Africa said on Tuesday. This comes after GDP rose as high as 5,6% in the fourth quarter of last year.