South Africa’s Economy Soars By 66 Percent in Third Quarter, but It’s Still 5.8 Percent Smaller Than At End of 2019


The economy grew at a supercharged 66% in the third quarter (Q3) of this year, outpacing market expectations. The recovery comes after the Q2 collapse, and Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) pointedly noted the economy was still 5.8% smaller than it was at the end of 2019. There is a lot of lost ground to be made up.

Talk about a roller coaster.

Under the hard lockdown during Q2, South Africa’s economy contracted by almost 52% on an annualised basis. As the lockdown measures eased, the economy got pumping again in Q3. Stats SA said on Tuesday it had rebounded by 66%, considerably overshooting a Reuters consensus among economists of 52.6%. The quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted growth rate, without annualising, was 13.5%.

Leading the charge were the industrial engines of Africa’s most industrialised economy – the manufacturing and mining sectors.

Mining output surged by 288%, manufacturing by 210%. The trade, catering and accommodation industry increased by 137% and agriculture was up 18.5%.

Extraordinary numbers for an extraordinary year.

But the economy is hardly reaching for the stars. In fact, we are still stuck on Earth and remain well below sea level.

“Despite the rebound, the economy is still 5.8% smaller than…



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