South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product came in much better than expected in the last quarter of 2017.
This is according to Old Mutual Investment Group strategist Rian le Roux who on Tuesday said: “The consensus forecast was for an expansion of 1.8 percent at an annualised rate, but the number came in far better at 3.1 percent annualised.
“Also, the previous three quarters’ numbers were revised slightly higher too. The fourth quarter number also significantly boosted GDP growth for the full 2017 calendar year to 1.3 percent, compared to consensus estimates of below 1 percent.”
Le Roux added that the sectors that fared best in the final quarter of last year were agriculture, manufacturing and the financial sector amongst others, all of which recorded solid positive growth. The laggards were mining and construction, both of which contracted on a quarterly annualised basis.
“These two sectors are, of course, crucial to a sustained better economic growth performance over the medium term.
“The key message of the fourth quarter numbers, and for the full calendar year, is that the economy was not as weak as was previously thought,” said Le Roux.
South Africa’s economy grew by 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 after expanding by an upwardly revised 2.3 percent in the third quarter, the statistics agency said had said earlier Tuesday.
“The largest positive contributor to growth in GDP in the fourth quarter was the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, which increased by 37.5 percent and contributed 0.8 of a percentage point to GDP growth,” Statistics South Africa said.