Nokukhanya Mntambo6 March 2024 | 6:06

Trade, agriculture, construction still biggest drags on SA economy – Stats SA

While the country narrowly missed a technical recession after its GDP growth increased by 0.1% in 2023’s fourth quarter, South Africa’s economic growth remaines muted.

Trade, agriculture, construction still biggest drags on SA economy – Stats SA

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JOHANNESBURG - Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) says trade, agriculture and construction are still the biggest drags on the economy as the country takes stock of the fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) results.

Economic growth saw a marginal uptick of 0.1% at the end of 2023, bouncing back from a contraction in the previous quarter.

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While economic growth remained muted, Tuesday’s GDP reading by Stats SA was enough to narrowly avoid a technical recession.

Economic performance in the fourth quarter was a mixed bag, with six industries leading gains.

They include the energy-intensive mining and manufacturing sectors, which rebounded on the back of less frequent load shedding.

Stats SA’s Bokang Vumbukani-Lepolesa said transport and finance also helped to keep the economy afloat.

“The transport, storage and communication industry made the biggest positive impact, expanding by 2.9% and contributing 0.2 of a percentage point to the GDP growth.”

Despite being in positive territory, the fourth-quarter GDP figure came in far below expectations.

In addition to trade, agriculture and construction - general government services are also weaker.

The annual growth rate for 2023 now stands at 0.6%.