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Economist: SA's economic growth gaining momentum

The country battled last year with economic growth and political uncertainty but government and business have since consulted the three major agencies to convince them that the overall situation is changing.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Government and business are hoping that a number of positive economic signs over the past few months will see the country avoid a ratings downgrade by Moody's investment services.

The ratings agency currently has the country one notch above junk status and has indicated that it will release its latest credit review on Friday.

The country battled last year with economic growth and political uncertainty but government and business have since consulted the three major agencies to convince them that the overall situation is changing.

Nedbank economist Isaac Matshego says that growth in the economy is gaining momentum.

“We’ve seen the local economy starting to improve. Actually, last year’s growth number was slightly stronger than what was expected.”

He says this number shows that growth is improving.

“The market confirms that there was growth of around 1%, it came out at 1.3%.”

Ratings agencies have been concerned about state expenditure and corruption.

But Matshego says government's revenue performance and growing institutional strength are two areas that Moody's will have noted.