SA's first quarter GDP takes a dip

GDP for the first three months of this year shows an economy under pressure.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Statistics South Africa on Tuesday said there was a drop in gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of this year compared to the last three months of 2014.

GDP grew by an annualised 1.3 percent, compared to 4.1 percent in the three months ending in December.

These figures for the first three months of this year shows an economy under pressure.

Statistics South Africa said a significant drop in GDP in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors had contributed to this.

However, the December period is normally up due to a boost in spending.

The unadjusted real GDP at market price for the first quarter increased by 2.1 percent compared to the first quarter in 2014.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected quarter-on-quarter GDP expansion of 1.7 percent and a year-on-year increase of 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, unemployment rate rose to 26.4 percent of the labour force in the first quarter of 2015 from 24.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, data showed on Tuesday.

In its quarterly labour force survey, which polls households, Statistics South Africa said this amounted to 5.535 million people without work in the first three months of the year, from 4.909 million in the last quarter of 2014.

The expanded definition of unemployment, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, was at 36.1 percent in the first quarter from 34.6 percent previously.