South Africa posts modest growth in Q1

South Africa's economic output slumped by more than R100 billion after the government rolled out strict lockdown measures last year.

10 June 2021 | Economics

South Africa's economy maintained a steady growth trajectory in the first quarter of this year ticking up by more than one percent compared to the last quarter of 2020, official statistics showed Tuesday.

It is the third time in a row that Africa's most industrialised economy has seen positive quarter-on-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth since suffering a pandemic-induced slump last year.

But the economy remained 2.7% smaller than in the first quarter of 2020.

"The South African economy grew by 1.1% in the first quarter of 2021 (January-March), translating into an annualised growth rate of 4.6 percent," Statistics South Africa announced in a statement.

The main growth drivers were the country's finance, mining and trade industries, it said. Household spending also rose.

South Africa's economic output slumped by more than R100 billion after the government rolled out strict lockdown measures in March last year to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The country was already in recession before the pandemic and is faced with unsustainable levels of public debt.

The gradual easing of movement restrictions has allowed South African businesses to slowly recover, but the economy is now roughly the same size as it was five years ago. - Nampa/AFP

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