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Stats general tight-lipped on economy

Pali Lehohla said he would not speculate on whether the country would enter a recession.

FILE: Statistician-General Pali Lehohla. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Statistician-General Pali Lehohla on Monday refused to speculate on whether the country may be entering a recession.

This after South Africa's economy contracted 0,6 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

The economy needs to experience two consecutive quarters of contraction in order to officially be in recession.

Lehohla highlighted figures which showed the extent to which the mining and manufacturing sectors had suffered due to the 2009 recession and labour unrest.

The mining industry contracted by 24,7 percent while manufacturing shrunk by 4,4 percent.

He said the second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures will be released on 24 August.

"After we release our next GDP [figures], we will see if SA has suffered or not."

Wage strikes have been blamed for a decrease in vehicle production in the manufacturing sector and for a contraction in the mining industry.

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