South Africa’s GDP growth slows down

Cape Town, May 29 (IANS) South Africa’s seasonally adjusted real GDP at market prices for the first quarter of 2013 increased by 0.9 percent, down from 2.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to official data.

The quarterly figure was the worst since a 1.7-percent contraction in 2009. Negative contributions to the slowdown included the manufacturing industry (-1.2 percent), the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry and the electricity, gas and water industry (each contributing -0.1 of a percentage point), reported Xinhua citing Statistics South Africa.

The main contributors to the increase in economic activity in the first quarter of 2013 were the mining and quarrying industry and finance, real estate and business services, each contributing 0.7 percentage point. General government services contributed 0.3 percentage point, and each of the wholesale, retail and motor trade and catering and accommodation industry and the transport, storage and communication industry contributed 0.2 percentage point.

The seasonally adjusted real annualized value added by primary and tertiary sectors recorded increases of 8.1 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively, while the secondary sector recorded a decrease of 6.2 percent during the first quarter of 2013.

The unadjusted real GDP at market prices for the first quarter of 2013 increased by 1.9 percent compared with the first quarter of 2012.

The GDP estimates are preliminary, and may routinely be revised on the basis of additional evidence that has become available by the time the subsequent quarter’s estimates are released, Statistics South Africa said.

In response to the release of the latest figures, the national currency rand fell to 9.73 to the US dollar, its lowest point in four years.

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