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Economists warn SA economy not expected to grow in second half of 2016

Statistician General Pali Lehohla announced that the GDP estimate for the second quarter of 2016 is 3.3%.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - While South Africa has been able to avoid a technical recession, local economists warn the economy is not expected to grow much in the second half of this year.

Statistician General Pali Lehohla announced today that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimate for the second quarter of 2016 is sitting at 3.3 percent.

The figure represents the fastest rise in economic activity since 2014.

South African recorded a 1.2 percent decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year, meaning another consecutive decline would have put the country into a technical recession.

But the good news is that the economy instead grew by 3.3 percent, mainly due to a recovery in certain sectors, particularly mining and manufacturing.

KPMG's Christie Viljoen says going forward there may be some challenges.

"The growth that we saw during the second quarter wasn't really that significant when you look at the year-on-year comparison."

Argon Asset management's Thabi Leoka agrees.

"This is not to say the economy is going to post stronger than expected growth in 2016. We still expect close to zero percent growth this year."

While today's announcement may be a victory, there's still some uncertainty about the second half of the year, with little anticipation for major economic growth.

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